Public-private partners spruce up neighborhood in decline

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A new partnership is sprucing up a neighborhood, Harrison County officials say has been on the decline. As part of the deal, a private developer is paying for a major landscape project on Janus Road. Meanwhile, the county has pledged to manage the upkeep for the next few months.

Harrison County Supervisor Windy Swetman said most of the people living in these duplexes are renters, and unfortunately, not much maintenance has been done over the years.

"In this particular neighborhood, we started see a decline in the quality of the neighborhood," said Swetman. "We had to have an idea on how to make sure we stop that."

Crews are planting live oaks, crepe myrtles and other plants along both sides of a two block stretch of Janus Road, a street that leads right into Janus Landing Subdivision. The developer of Janus Landing is paying $50,000 for the landscaping project.

"The idea was to improve and enhance our own subdivision, but as things started coming together in terms of the plans and the details, we're able to provide something which will be exactly a landscape boulevard that ends up welcoming everybody home," said developer Mike Fearn.

"We hope that as neighbors move in and out of this neighborhood, they are able to see the efforts that are being made," Swetman said. "They're able to take a little more pride in their own living quarters, as well as become a stakeholder in their neighborhood. It gives them more a sense of community. That's what we're promoting here."

Once the work is done, the developer and the county hope neighbors will be inspired to make their home a place to be proud of. The developer said since D'Iberville owns the utilities where the shrubbery is being planted, the city's cooperation was also needed for the project to move forward.

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