Public Works Dept. Tops Moss Point's Recovery Hardships

The sound of a sale is music to pharmacist John McKinny's ears.

"As a store and a community, we've made tremendous strides," the owner of Burnham's Drug Store said.

Strides that two years ago, one might have never imagined in Moss Point.

"We pretty much made a lake out of the whole block. We had two feet in this building here," McKinny said.

Now shoppers wander those downtown streets. But Mayor Xavier Bishop would like to see more. He says luring new businesses to the city is crucial to Moss Point's recovery and growth.

"It gives us a revenue stream to up the level of services and to do bigger and better things here in the city. Without that tool we're kind of handcuffed in what we can provide to our citizens," Mayor Bishop said.

Two management turnovers in the public works department have disrupted its services since the storm. Potholes fill many streets and more than 400 street signs are missing or badly disfigured.

"It's been our Achilles heel, it has. I wish that things had moved farther, faster than they have. It's just one of those fundamental things that people expect as part of a municipality," Bishop said.

Both men say they're optimistic about the city's continued recovery, and more importantly, its economic growth. Yet McKinny says that battle can't be won alone.

"It takes more than one person; it takes us all working together to better Moss Point. I think over the last two years we've done that and you'll continue to see that in the years to come," McKinny said.

That's a promise this city will count on.