GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The City of Gulfport has received a $ 4.1 million grant to build a permanent, elevated fuel dock at the small craft harbor.
Money for the fuel dock project is a Katrina grant, which comes through the Mississippi Development Authority. And boaters we talked with are most supportive of the fuel dock project.
A temporary fuel dock has served boaters since the newly rebuilt small craft harbor opened. But the city has long planned on building an elevated, permanent fuel dock. With the grant award, it appears that project will happen.
"We need as much marine fuel around here as possible," said boater Hiram King.
He's pleased to hear about the fuel dock plans. Finding marine fuel isn't always so easy.
"I have to hunt down marine fuel on my way to the ramp every time. So yeah, I think it would be very helpful," said King.
"We came here the first time about three weeks ago. And we've been here every week ever since," said Chip Bunch.
He said the convenience of a permanent fuel dock would be appreciated by boaters.
"I think that's a good idea. I think it would come in very handy for everybody. Convenience, more than anything," said Bunch, who was guiding his boat onto a trailer, after a Labor Day trip on the water.
The permanent fuel dock will be built on the west side of the harbor, in the same general area as the temporary facility. Boaters we talked with say it's a welcome improvement and one they will support.
"It's a good deal. Because usually we stop before we get here, to have to fill up," said John Westrope.
"Most boaters have to stop, with boats like this, at a gas station somewhere and fill up. It's an inconvenience basically. But having a permanent, you get here and fill up just like a gas station basically, right in the water and stuff. Then you're on your way," said Jason Powell.
The funding for the new fuel dock is on the Gulfport City Council's Tuesday agenda.
Also on the agenda is a management agreement with a firm to oversee the long-awaited repair work to the storm damaged fishing piers in Gulfport.