Lake Mars Pier In Jackson County Is Getting A Makeover

"It is a beautiful part of our county," Jackson County Resident Ramona Morgan says.

But since Katrina washed ashore  Lake Mars Pier in Gulf Park Estates has not been so easy on the eyes.

"It basically knocked out all the railings, the deck board, somewhere around 35 pilings," Jackson County Recreation Director Jack Hamilton says.

Just looking at the damage saddens Steven Morgan and his wife.

"It is kind of a refugee to go and have fun and fish crab and enjoy the sun. Now it is just a remnant of Katrina that needs to be brought back," Jackson County Resident Steven Morgan says.

The Morgan family's wish will come true. Work has now begun to transform this eyesore into a beautiful place of pleasure and relaxation, a task Jackson County Recreation Director Jack Hamilton says is not so easy.

"Driving new pilings in, putting in new deck boards, building a new gazebo, it maybe a little complicated but it a lot of things we have to go through to make sure it safe," Hamilton says.

Safety is also important to Jackson County Supervisor John Mckay. He says the future pier will be a carbon copy of the old one and include lights so people can feel more comfortable at night.

"It makes me feel good we are replacing it with equal or better material it will be a wonderful place again for all the residents of Gulf Park Estates and Jackson County," Jackson County Supervisor John Mckay says.

Mckay says along with the pier, a new boat launch will be added to the area and it will be located right here.

"We got DMR approval now we are waiting for Corps of Engineer approval, they need to run some test," Mckay says.  "If we can construct a boat launch ramp down at this location it will take a lot of pressure off the Ocean Harbor, and it is only a short eight  to ten minute ride to Horn Island  for fisherman in the water, so this will be and ideal location."

These outdoor enthusiasts could not agree more with the supervisor.

"Now we can do some fish catching, lots of fish."

"The benefits would be tremendous to all of Jackson County, not just Ocean Springs, not just our little part down here, but to all Jackson County," Morgan says.

Mckay says the cost for the projects is about 8 hundred thousand dollars.

The county is also planning to add a sand beach and parking area at Lake Mars Pier.