BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - WLOX News Now has learned that some of Mississippi's BP recovery money will help fund a new, more secure entrance to Keesler Air Force Base.
On Thursday, Gov. Phil Bryant asked lawmakers to commit $15 million in recovery funds for the project. Biloxi Mayor FoFo Gilich labeled a new Keesler gate as his number one priority, a move Gilich says will protect Keesler from future BRAC initiatives.
"Three days after I took office, Gov. Bryant was kind enough to meet with me to discuss issues important to the City of Biloxi, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Gilich said. "When I explained him why a new main gate at Division St. was crucial to ensuring Keesler's continuing mission, he immediately pledged to do whatever was necessary to assist us. I'm very grateful to Gov. Bryant for following up with his well-reasoned request to the State Legislature for funding. And I respectfully ask our Coastal delegation to successfully negotiate this vital request through the two chambers."
The project is estimated to cost around $37 million, so the BP money will take care of half the cost.
Gilich formed a committee in 2015 to secure the funding needed to move the main gate to the end of Division St. at Forrest Ave., away from White Ave. where the is no room for certain security improvements.