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Pass Christian Harbor gets $33 million expansion

Published: Dec. 9, 2011 at 9:50 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 10, 2011 at 3:03 AM CST
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PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - After three years of planning, dreaming and cutting through a whole lot of red tape, the people of the Pass are about to see their harbor expanded and jobs created.

It was a very unconventional and festive ribbon cutting Friday in Pass Christian. With Maker's Mark Whiskey in hand, Mayor Chipper McDermott scoffed at skeptics of the Pass Christian Harbor expansion plan.

"One day he told me, said, 'Let me tell you something. You ain't come up with anything we didn't do,''' McDermott said of one skeptic. "He said, 'Thirty years ago, we had a master plan.' I said, 'You sure did and 300 years from now they'd have more dust on them than the Dead Sea Scrolls if it hadn't been for a man and a woman. That man was Haley Barbour and that woman was Katrina.'"

The work actually started three weeks ago. In just 16 months, a new 84,000 square foot harbor will accommodate more than 500 vessels with deeper channels, sea walls, massive parking lots, a comfort station and ice house. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann fully supports the expansion.

"It's exciting, because it's another step forward," Hosemann said. "It's the expansion of the Pass Christian Harbor, which is owned by the state of Mississippi and the citizens of Mississippi. So we have given them a rent exempt lease. That means zero dollars to expand the harbor and continue the progress of Pass Christian."

Governor-elect Phil Bryant said there will be a real and lasting economic impact on the whole state from this one $33 million investment.

"Twenty-five of that CDBG money coming through MDA, $25 million," Bryant said. "The work continues, the jobs that will be created, the families for generations that will come here and enjoy this great facility."

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