Mayor Delivers State Of The City In New Age

Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway told a packed house Thursday that Hurricane Katrina created a potential for growth and prosperity that his city's never seen before.

"We have the spirit and the drive to rebuild a bigger and better Biloxi," Holloway said.

The mayor believes that's going on every day in Biloxi, from the continued debris cleanup...

"More than two million cubic yards of storm debris have been removed from our city. That's enough to cover a football field with a pile of debris that would stand more than a hundred stories high."

To the booming reopening of the city's biggest employer, the casino industry.

"The three casino resorts that came online in December '05, the IP, Isle of Capri and Palace reported more than $63 million in gross gaming revenues for January."

For the recovery to continue, Mayor Holloway is assembling a Renaissance Steering Committee . The committee will represent a cross section of the community and its goal will be to determine what's right for post-Katrina Biloxi.

"I want to see a process where there's public imput toward developing a realistic plan with a realistic timetable and a realistic price tag. And I want to have this tool in hand no later than 90 days from today, so the city council and I can put it to work," the mayor said.

Some of those who heard the mayor's words liked his positive outlook.

"I think that's what we need is the optimism and not all the gloom and doom that can come out of the situation that we have right now," Chris Moore said.

With the task ahead, the mayor says his city will make history as always, but now on a much larger scale.