Pass Christian mayor pleased with city's progress - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pass Christian mayor pleased with city's progress

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PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) -

Pass Christian's mayor talked about growth and economic development during a speech to a Chamber of Commerce crowd Tuesday morning. Mayor Chipper McDermott said it's easier to paint a picture of progress, "when there's paint in your bucket."

For example, the new harbor will reach substantial completion in 45 days. Plus, two new leases have been signed for new business downtown.

"A Chinese restaurant going in one. And the other is going to be a cigar, tobacco, music shop. So it's exciting that the two vacant ones are filling up. Then we already picked up the new ones on Davis with the coffee shop and olive oil. So, we're excited for a little town," said Mayor McDermott.

Longtime residents Jim and Gayla Schmitt share their mayor's excitement. They're frequent customers at Cat Island Coffee House and the Pass Christian Bookstore. Both recognize and appreciate the post-Katrina progress.

"In fact, when I think back after Hurricane Camille, it's not a whole lot different. Doesn't look like anything's going on, but all of a sudden ten years later things are there," said Jim Schmitt.

"We have this nice coffee shop that we really love. And we have gift shops, we have restaurants. Plus, people coming back, rather steadily," added Gayla Schmitt.

One thing on the mayor's wish list for this year is bringing a hotel to the city. Several parties have been working on such a project, which could be located at the corner of Market Street and Scenic Drive.

The mayor is definitely pleased with the progress he's seeing; especially given the immediate prognosis after the hurricane.

"It was questionable whether we were going to have to close the books on this town. But the generosity of the American people and the tenacity of the people here, we are breathing on our own and it looks good," said the mayor.

Another improvement coming to Pass Christian is a paving project.  The city has nearly a half-million dollars which will be used to blacktop several streets throughout the city.

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