The cities of Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis have both opened multi-million dollar harbors. The city of Gulfport has made substantial upgrades to its harbor. In between is the Long Beach Harbor. It's lacking the upgraded facilities the other marinas sport. But, tenants seem to be happy where they are.
Ken Kilner and his wife, live aboard their vessel at a dock in Long Beach. "We've been made very welcome, I'm pleased to say. The staffs are friendly, they're very cooperative. The people on the dock are friendly. We've made lots of friends," said Kilner.
Mayor Billy Skellie believes it's the camaraderie at the Long Beach Harbor that sets his city's harbor apart. "I don't want us to try to be in competition with other harbors. I want them to be successful also, but it just helps the coast that every city has their own facilities. I think our harbor has its own unique position in the central part of our coastline," said Mayor Skellie.
The mayor realizes Pass Christian and Bay St Louis both have brand new harbors. While those were being built, Long Beach struggled to get it fuel dock fixed. The fuel facility was a casualty of Hurricane Isaac. "Working through the FEMA and permitting and all that the communities have to do, it's cost us much time to do it, and it should be online again like I said by the end of the month," said Mayor Skellie.
Mayor Skellie is hopeful, once the fuel problem is fixed, boaters will make their way back to his city. "We're a good place to be, easy to get on your boat, haul your gear and your ice and so forth out to your boat," said Mayor Skellie.
Ken Kilner agrees. He is very pleased with the Long Beach Harbor, and its proximity to the city. But, he would like to see one addition. "For example, there are not too many ladders around off the dock, which from a boater's stand point is not good," said Kilner.
Long Beach does have a master plan to expand and enhance its harbor. But, those plans are a guide, and the mayor doesn't expect them to be funded anytime soon. His immediate hope is the city can obtain more grant money to make smaller enhancements to the Long Beach Harbor.