City acquires land for downtown parking

Ocean Springs, MS - Ocean Springs pays it forward with resident Joe Garrard II donating $120,000 to two area churches - money he received from the recent sale of his downtown property to the City of Ocean Springs. Located at the corner of Desoto and Cash Alley, the space will soon be converted into a parking area complete with lighting, landscaping, and a park-like memorial to honors its name sake.

The lack of parking for downtown shoppers and festival goers has long been an issue with residents and city officials.

Keyes Municipal Park is named for the late Ocean Springs business owners Myrtle and Earl Keyes, mentors and life-long friends of Mr. Garrard.

"The property takes care of the city parking problem and allows me to feel good about the Keyes being recognized and taking the proceeds and distributing it between the two churches that Mrs. Keyes attended, St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church and St. Alphonsus Catholic Church," said Mr. Garrard. "She was a very devout Catholic and I wanted to give the money where it would do the most good. I knew the Keyes from a very young age and they were always good to me. My father was in Texas and if I needed to talk to a man, spending the summer's here, I would talk to Mr. Earl."