PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - With a few signatures, state officials received one of the largest gifts of land and tidelands from a corporation.
"It's Christmas come early for Mississippi and Pascagoula and Jackson County. This is great. It's 11 acres of prime land here. You can come down, launch your boat, watch the construction, watch the sunset and it will be this way in perpetuity now," said Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
For three years, the state has been in negotiations with Northrop Grumman, and now Ingalls Shipbuilding, to take over the property located at the eastern tip of Pascagoula's beach front.
Historically, the city leased the land from the shipbuilding company. However, restrictions prevented the city from developing the land, which has several boat launches.
"After a period of much too long a time and sorting through the details, we're finally going to be able to transfer point property to the state of Mississippi and they're going to sign a lease with the city of Pascagoula so that we can give them full control of the property," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Irwin Edenzon.
Now that the state is in charge of the point, the city can pursue its plans.
"Essentially it will be another city park. We hope to enlarge the docks out here so that people can fish off the docks, add another launch or two and then landscape it. All this is going to be very pretty when it's done," said Pascagoula Mayor Robbie Maxwell.
The president of Ingalls says there is a very good reason for handing over the property.
"The Gulf Coast is our home. Pascagoula is our hometown," said Edenzon.