BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi Health Care Industry Zone Incentive Program was first introduced by Governor Phil Bryant in 2012 as a way to expand access to high quality medical care in the state.
Councilman Kenny Glavan believes Biloxi needs to get in on the action.
"It attracts those companies which could be medical facilities, suppliers of medical supplies, nursing programs, research and development associated with medical, outpatient care," said Councilman Kenny Glavan. "All those different medical professions that are related to the healthcare industry can really take advantage of it."
Glavan says there are already two eligible locations; one off Cedar Lake Road and the other in downtown Biloxi.
"Right now, both areas qualify but we haven't officially designated them and that's what I want to see happen. I want to see the leadership of this city recognize that the healthcare industry is something we need to add to our environment down here," said Glavan.
To qualify for assistance, Glavan says the medical zone would have to either create 25 new jobs, or put up $10 million worth of investment. Also, anything within a five mile radius of the zone could be designated as health care, meaning a retirement home could be built near the hospital as well.
"Downtown Biloxi, we can take advantage of the already established hospital there and we can revitalize downtown Biloxi with that housing component even those retirees," added Glavan. "Because now you're close to gaming restaurants you know the beach and those types of things."
Glavan says there is already a similar zone in Meridian and he would like to use the one on Houston, Texas as a model as well.