Bay St. Louis City Services To Move Into Coast Electric Building - - The News for South Mississippi

Bay St. Louis City Services To Move Into Coast Electric Building

Bay St. Louis residents will soon have a new location to conduct city business. City leaders recently signed a letter of intent to purchase Coast Electric Power Company's headquarters building on Highway 90.

"This is the first time that I know of, going back ages, that will finally have one location with all of our services consolidated in one location," Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre said.

The buildings on the property total more than 56,000 square feet. They will house all of the city's departments - everything from recreation to public works. 

"Moving our city yard out of a totally residential neighborhood to finally give some peace and quiet to the residents."

For the police and fire departments, the move can't come quickly enough. The VCJ building they now operate out of is nearly 60-years-old. The roof leaks and space is limited.

Police Chief Frank McNeil said, "The facility itself we've out grown it."

Fire Chief Bobby Gavagnie said, "My first tenure with the Bay St. Louis Fire Department, we moved in this building in 1972 after operation up turn, refurbished it from a school into a fire department. Of course, we had a lot less people then, I think we only had three or four full time firefighters and one fire truck in those days."

There aren't enough parking bays to shelter the five trucks the city now owns. The Coast Electric property offers that protection. Mayor Favre said it's a win, win situation.

"The financial end of it says this is the thing to do," Favre said.

The mayor said it would cost around $2.7 million to repair the storm damaged City Hall and VCJ buildings. The cost of the Coast Electric building is $3.8 million.

"Once we sell the other facilities that are no longer needed, hopefully we'll be in the position to totally pay off the debt on it. So we'll end up with a new facility, consolidated services and no debt."

The hope is to move into the new Bay St. Louis Municipal Complex sometime in October.

Coast Electric is in the process of moving its headquarters to its building on Highway 603 in the Kiln.

by Al Showers

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