He's been Biloxi's mayor longer than anyone in the city's history. And on Monday, Mayor A.J. Holloway talked about progress and ongoing projects during his 20th State of the City address.
Mayor Holloway said, "We've accomplished a lot. And we want to accomplish some more."
That's why the five-term mayor is running for re-election. He told the luncheon crowd of 700 people, "We celebrate a different milestone every day in the City of Biloxi."
Mayor Holloway got a warm reception from the sold out crowd. His annual "report card" was presented with a nearly 30 minute video. Economic development highlights included various casino improvement projects, plus 234 small businesses opening in Biloxi last year.
"Corporations and individuals. Large and small retail. Restaurants. Home office businesses and professional services. They're in all areas of the city," the mayor explained.
"McElroy's. Sharkheads. The Biloxi Boardwalk Marina. Those were all tremendous milestones. And they're making an impact," he emphasized.
"I think it says a lot for Biloxi. I think it makes a statement that what we're doing is good for everybody," said Mayor Holloway.
Most everyone in the city will be impacted by ongoing infrastructure work. New roads, along with water and sewer lines, make up the $355 million in public works improvements.
"We never said this would be easy, nor would it be overnight. We're doing 20 years worth of work in three to five years. Some of our milestones are a marathon, not a sprint," said the mayor.
"That's what I look for. I look to do a lot of infrastructure. To get us back to where we were before. Where we were and better before Katrina," said the five term city leader.
Popp's Ferry Road will get plenty of attention this year. A project is underway to widen it between Cedar Lake and D'Iberville, while extending the south end of Popp's Ferry, all the way to the beach. Then there's the new Popp's Ferry Bridge that's coming.
"The new bridge will be 65 feet tall at it's highest point. About as high as the I-110 bridge," said Mayor Holloway.
That's among several projects the mayor started and would like to see finished.
"Yes, I'm going to run again for reelection. You know, I'm in good health. I love the City of Biloxi. I love my job, love my work. And I'm going to continue to work as long as I possibly can," he said.
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