Visitors speak out about Hancock County's aesthetics - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Visitors speak out about Hancock County's aesthetics

By Al Showers – bio | email

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) – A Katrina damaged home on a heavily traveled road in Waveland, four and a half years after the fact. Trash piles in the ditches and overgrown yards and lots. It's not exactly the first impression a city wants to leave on new visitors.

"Progress is being made. That's a real strength here," Virgil Culver said. "It's evident to everyone, however, there are still a lot of areas that need some clean up. Some look like maybe absentee land owners."

Culver is Director of the Mississippi State University Community Action Team. The Bay-Waveland Main Street Program recently commissioned his group to study what new visitors think of the two cities.

"It gives a fresh prospective of the good things and the bad things, things that we need to work on. But I think that's the important thing on how we need to improve our community," said Sherri Bevis, Executive Director of the Bay-Waveland Main Street Program.

One of those things is signage. The study revealed a need for more of it in some areas of the city. For instance some newly paved roads have no street signs.

"We know where we're going, a lot of times, because we live here," Bevis said. "For visitors, they need to know."

"Someone who is not used to this area, the roads are confusing," Culver said. "Sometimes they are very narrow, little stripping, all those things take time to redevelop. The question is, is it in the plans?"

The results were not all negative. Study participants gave the area high marks for its natural beauty, as well as the progress that has been made in recovery. The visitors also loved the coastal style homes that have been rebuilt.

The findings presented Wednesday night were only for Waveland. The Bay St. Louis survey results will be unveiled Thursday night at 5:30 at the city council chambers on Main Street.

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