Waveland Residents Debate Coleman Ave. Marina Proposal

Should the city of Waveland build a marina at the end of Coleman Avenue? It's an idea that has been tossed around in the community for years. Wednesday night, Waveland residents will get to voice their opinions on the issue at a forum hosted by the Waveland Coalition.

"The city of Waveland is the only city on the Coast that doesn't have water access. For the first time there are monies available to build projects like this, we don't need to miss the boat while we have the opportunity," Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo said.

Mayor Longo has long been a proponent of building a marina in Waveland. He and other city leaders would like to see a 100 to 200 boat slip marina for recreational boats built at the foot of Coleman Avenue.

"The marina was deemed a high priority by the Governor's Commission on recovery as a catalysis for economic development. The seven day, intensive charette that we held here in Waveland deemed it as a high priority of the rebuilding of our downtown, heart and soul of our community," Longo said.

Waveland property owner Charles LeBlanc disagrees.

"I think it's just a big waste of time and money to be honest with you. And on top of that, it's going to really mess up the beach front right there at the end of Coleman Avenue," LeBlanc said. "It's going to cost somebody a ton of money to keep dredging it every year."

LeBlanc owns property not far from the proposed marina project.

"I just really don't think that's going to do anything to bring Coleman Avenue back. I think if we get City Hall back on Coleman Avenue, and we start getting some realistic insurance rates in that area, I think Coleman Avenue is going to come back," LeBlanc said.

"There's a minority group of people that don't want a marina for their own purposes and reasons, and I respect that. But it's not the feeling of the majority of the community," Mayor Longo said.

Residents can voice their opinions about the marina project during a public forum Wednesday, beginning at 6pm. The forum will be held in trailer number 9 at the city government complex on Coleman Avenue.