By WLOX Staff
JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Katrina recovery in downtown Bay St. Louis took a huge step forward Tuesday. Governor Haley Barbour announced that $13 million in now avaliable to develop a downtown pier and harbor. The project is considered key to redeveloping the city's historic downtown.
"This initiative is being funded through the $200 million 'Ground Zero' program, which is exclusively for Hancock County recovery projects," Governor Barbour said.
"Local leaders in Bay St. Louis asked the state to fund this project because it will be the cornerstone for a rejuvenated Downtown Bay St. Louis. It'll help the city restore businesses and jobs and recapture Bay St. Louis' unique seaside atmosphere that has traditionally attracted visitors and residents to the city."
The pier and harbor project is expected to create more than 100 jobs. It will be a magnet for recreational and commercial boating activity geared toward the county's traditional tourism economy.
To complement the facility, the city plans to redevelop the frontage facing the pier and harbor into boutique retail shops and restaurants which will resemble Bay St. Louis pre-Katrina atmosphere.
The Ground Zero program is funded through the state's $5.4 billion Katrina Recovery program, composed of federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and administered through the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).