BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - 'Happening now' was the theme for the State of the City address in Biloxi Tuesday. In front of a crowd of more than 600, Mayor FoFo Gilich announced projects that will be coming in 2018.
This year, FoFo Gilich has one goal.
"I want to transform and improve the quality of life in our city, and make Biloxi an even more special place than it is today."
The announcement included a new restaurant on the Point, an oyster Aquaculture Center, exterior improvements to the Saenger Theater, and transforming the Vieux Marche into a two-way street with plenty of parking. The new lighthouse park is also about to open.
Attendees appeared to like what they heard at the address. Pinkey Lewis was one of those in attendance.
"I think we're headed in the right direction. The Mayor and the council, they are really working hard to get the city growing," Lewis said.
Other projects included a new beach boardwalk along the strip and a new family-friendly state-of-the-art high-speed racecar track. That proposal delighted Pat Wylie with the Biloxi Bay Chamber.
"I think potential comes to mind because there are so many great things about to happen in Biloxi. I work with the Biloxi Bay Chamber and the Mainstreet Program, and there is so much interest in this area."
A new multi-million-dollar entrance to Keesler Air Force Base at the west end of Division Street was also mentioned as a new addition. Felix Gines, the city council member that represents that area, gave his thoughts on the new plans.
"I think the future is very positive. I think we have some things in place. We set a good foundation and with the Keesler Air Force Base gate, it's looking up," Gines said.
A new Popps Ferry Causeway park is nearing completion, and a new fire station north of the bay is on the way this year. That's another reminder of progress for resident Susan Hunt.
"I think we're on the road to growing. I see things coming back. I see our schools getting more children, and I see more in our community. I see more people, businesses, and houses being built."
The Mayor is hoping these projects help him reach his goal of improving the quality of life.
Tuesday's event at the Beau Rivage was sponsored by the Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce. It's the 28th year the speech has been presented.