LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Big changes are in the works for the Long Beach Harbor. Wednesday evening, the Long Beach Port Commission met to review two different plans.
The original idea was to expand the harbor, but a study pushed the plans in another direction.
"The occupancy trends and boater registration levels really indicated there wasn't a substantial demand for additional slips now and in the foreseeable future," Marine Construction Specialist Kirby Marshall said.
So in lieu of expanding the harbor, Marshall recommended focusing on redeveloping and enhancing the current harbor. Engineer Bill Mitchell presented two different concepts to the port commission.
"Each of two concepts have some improvements to harbor, they relocate the boat launching ramp, provide more parking for trailers related to boat parking ramp and each of them provide for additional slips inside the current harbor," Mitchell said.
The plans also make the harbor more aesthetically pleasing and creates more things for visitors to do. The major difference is one of the plans relocates the yacht club to the south end of Cleveland Avenue.
"That will open up some nice green areas and nice spaces in the harbor for views from Highway 90," Mitchell said.
President of the Port Commission Phil Kies said the plans have been presented to Yacht Club officials.
"I think they are favorably impressed, because they gain a lot of amenities down there. They gain their own boat slips, boat ramp, a larger pool, boat lift, so they are coming out ahead. Right now take up a large chunk of land within the Long Beach Harbor," Kies said.
But in order to move forward with this plan the Port Commission must come up with the money to build the new Yacht Club facility.
Whatever plan is chosen, the ultimate goal is the same.
"To create a family centric environment at the harbor to make sure it is enjoyed both boaters and non boaters and all the citizens of Long Beach," Marshall said.
Thursday, the port commission will vote on whether or not to accept the two concepts, if they do accept engineers will develop a master plan. That is expected to take about four or five months.