Fed approves grant for new Ship Island ferry terminal

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By David Elliott – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - This week, Senator Thad Cochran announced the approval of a grant to build a new Ship Island ferry terminal at the Gulfport Harbor.

Ship Island Excursions has been operating out of a trailer since Katrina. Before the storm they were in a modular building. Captain Louis Skrmetta with Ship Island Excursions would love to see a new federally funded ferry terminal at the Gulfport Harbor.

Skrmetta was surprised by news this week that Congress approved $223,000 to build a new terminal.

"I knew nothing about it," Skrmetta said.

While Skrmetta feels out of the loop on the project, Mayor George Schloegel said the city of Gulfport has been working with the federal government to secure the money.

"he city applied for a grant to build a terminal for the Ship Island boats to operate from. We got the grant money, almost $225,000, with the help of Senator Cochran, Sen. Wicker and Congressman Gene Taylor," Mayor Schloegel said.

Both the city and Skrmetta think a new terminal would be good for business in Gulfport.

"We need a permanent structure. We need some place nice to sell tickets, plus passengers need items before they board. It's important," Skrmetta said.

Mayor Schloegel agreed, "Tourists who come here need to see a nice facility to take advantage of going out to the island."

Gulfport plans to advertise for bids on a contract to build the terminal in the next three or four months.

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