LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - The mayor of Long Beach is pleased with the progress his city made over the past year. Mayor Billy Skellie delivered his annual State of the City speech on Wednesday.
"We get great feedback. Everybody is excited about the street, excited about the town green. We see great things happening there, continuing to happen to generate activity downtown," said Mayor Skellie, as he surveyed the downtown from the front steps of city hall.
He likes what he sees in downtown Long Beach. The project to widen and beautify Jeff Davis Avenue was the catalyst that attracted new development. The latest is a work-in-progress right across from city hall.
"We have commercial development downstairs and apartments on top. It's exactly the type of thing we want for this main street to build back. It's exactly what we want," he said.
New projects are scattered throughout the city, including a storm shelter behind the police station.
"We put in a 1.3 mile walking track, walking bike track out by our senior center off Daughtery Road. A new bridge on Pineville Road, one of our main arteries. And it was about a 60-year-old bridge, so we were happy to change it out," the mayor explained.
This summer, look for big changes at the Long Beach Harbor.
"Engineering plans for reconstruction are being drawn right now and being prepared for bid. I'm afraid it's going to interfere with a lot of the boating and summer activities as far as fishing piers, probably won't be finished," said Mayor Skellie.
The mayor says he'd like to see more development in 2013, especially in the downtown area. But, the mayor admits, that will depend largely on the ongoing recovery of the national economy.
"We're not exempt from what the whole nation feels. And I think if the national economy changes, certainly there will be more activity," he said.