Leaders, Residents Look To Future Of Naval Station Pascagoula - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/29/05

Leaders, Residents Look To Future Of Naval Station Pascagoula

Since the early 1990s, Naval Station Pascagoula has been a security presence and a economic boost in the city. Now as the navy base prepares to close, the future of Singing River Island has become a hot topic.

"I think the future of the island is business related or industry related. I don't think it would serve tourism, restaurants and those type of industries," Jackson County Supervisor Manly Barton says.

Barton says that's because he believes the land is better suited for specific businesses.

"You really end up having to look for someone who wants a location like that, who security is a real priority and there some companies who need that. Expanding the Coast Guard presence is another option," Barton says.

"We are at the top of the key of the Gulf, and perhaps the Coast Guard would utilize the Naval Station as their primary base for the Gulf of Mexico. That means additional ships and man power."

Brenda Sartin is the owner of Family Frozen Foods. She says while she is disappointed about losing income from the base, she sees big opportunities ahead.

"If our county leaders would go to work and implement some programs that would get some industry out on the base that would provide jobs, that would provide income in the area, and that would keep us from working without that income," Sartin says.

Her suggestion?

"Casinos would be good," Sartin says.

Only time will tell what will happen to the Naval Station Pascagoula. Right now there is no set time table for when the base is schedule to close.

By Patrice Clark

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