BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - The Old Town Depot District is about to have new life breathed into it as the city of Bay St. Louis was awarded $1.5 million to enliven this section of the city. The hope is that this project will attract residents as well as tourists traveling to the Coast, making it an ideal proposal for Gulf Coast Restoration Funds.
Included in the grant are the construction of an outdoor amphitheater, outdoor seating, a water feature, bathroom facility, additional parking, and facade updates to the Depot building.
“I envision the amphitheater, which will host movies for kids and concerts of all genres. As we move forward, we should look on this with great accomplishment and pride knowing that one of America’s ‘Coolest Towns’ just got cooler!” said Councilman Larry Smith.
Along with the $1.5 million granted to the Depot District from Senate Bill 2977, an additional $1 million was awarded to help with the construction of an Old Town Police Department. This building is set to stand at the corner of Highway 90 and Main Street.
Bay St. Louis mayor Mike Favre said he and police chief Gary Ponthieux spent three years trying to procure funding for this project; therefore, they are thrilled to see the hard work pay off.
“We have a great group of police officers working here at the city. We should all be proud of our department. I appreciate their patience in this process and they are very deserving of a new facility,” said Favre.
“The site is extremely accessible to the public and next to municipal court, City Hall and the fire department. We are currently in the process of demolishing the old police station and designing the new one. We anticipate the new station will be approximately 8,500 square feet and will provide state-of-the-art facilities for employees and citizens. There will be space within the structure for citizens and our youth to interact with the department staff in a positive environment,” said Ponthieux.
According to the city, “the new police department will also provide the police department the opportunity to meet minimum accreditation requirements by the Mississippi Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (MSLEAC).”
Mayor Favre credited local legislators Brent Anderson, Richard Bennett, Philip Moran, among others for assisting in the effort to secure the grant funding.
The Gulf Coast Restoration Fund is monies administered by the Mississippi Development Authority. Funds are to be used for programs and projects that generate increased economic activity in the Gulf Coast region.