New Tidelands Money May Be Headed To Hancock County

Waveland city leaders say the Garfield Ladner Municipal Pier is becoming a bigger and better place to enjoy thanks to tideland funds.

"It's enabled us to continue to expand that project, continue with the next phases, and continue to expand that project and move along at a much faster pace," Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo said.

Funds received last year have allowed the city to add additional lighting expand the roadway leading to the pier and add pavilions and a bait shop. Improvements Longo says that would not have been possible without the tidelands money.

"There probably wouldn't been any expansion to the project over the past 10 years. The monies that we do have go into drainage sewerage and into infrastructure, and that's where they need to go. Without it, we probably wouldn't be able to do these type projects," Mayor Longo said.

"We've accomplished a lot of things with the funds we get," said "Jeep" Ladner, Hancock County's District 1 Supervisor.

Some of those projects include upgrading and building new boat lunches, repair old piers and perhaps the biggest project, build the a new marina.

Tidelands funds headed their way in December will allow them to begin adding slips to the marina for recreational boats. The money has also helped the city of Bay St. Louis.

"I think what it's done, it's given us an opportunity to put a fantastic recreational fishing pier out at a cost of $1.1 million without the tidelands funding it wouldn't have been possible," Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre said. "We would have still had the old wooden pier that we had."

Mayor Favre says the $200,000 Bay St. Louis is expected to get later this year will be used to build restrooms and expand parking at the Jimmy Rutherford Pier.

The tidelands distributions announced Wednesday must still be approved by the governor.