Bay St Louis eyesore to become city nursery

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - By Al Showers – bio | email

BAY ST LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Bay St. Louis is moving its public works maintenance yard out of the heart of a residential neighborhood and closer to city hall, near Highway 90. The vacated yard will become a home for the city's Beautification Department, complete with a city nursery.

The move has neighbors who've griped about living next to a city eyesore jumping for joy.

Charles Johnson lives across the street from the maintenance yard. He said the fence around the facility did little to keep the ruckus created by heavy machinery from disturbing his peace.

"We don't have to listen to that noise over there anymore," Johnson said.

His neighbor, Juanita Mitchell, said, "We look forward to getting a little rest."

The Public Works Department has operated in that location for 35 years. But it will soon become home to the Beautification Department.

"We've never had anything like this in the city and we're really excited about it," said Jimmy Loiacano, Director of Beautification.

Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame said, "We're in the process of converting it from an old public works yard to a beautification nursery. Really, it's going to be the city nursery, and it's going to be an area that we'll use to propagate the plants and the landscape items that we need in landscapes across the city."

Fillingame created the beautification department when he first took office.

"From a small city standpoint, and from a city that depends so much on tourism and visitors from outside, there's nothing that we can provide from a public stand point that is more vital to the business sector and the economy than a beautiful city."

The nursery will have a large greenhouse as well as office space. Volunteers from the nearby Boys and Girls Club and Senior Citizens Complex will help to grow plants and shrubs.

The Mayor hopes to have the city nursery fully operational by spring.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.