The Mississippi Legislature has awarded $6.1 million in funding for a variety of projects in Gautier, City Manager Paula Yancey announced today.
“I would like to thank our legislative delegation, especially Rep. John Read, and the governor’s office for working to secure this funding,” Yancey said. “These funds will be crucial in helping meet Gautier’s infrastructure needs and in giving our residents the quality-of-life enhancements they deserve.”
The City was awarded $2,668,265 in GOMESA funding for the Gautier Vancleave Sewer Improvements project, which will improve coastal water quality, protect natural resources and mitigate damage to fish and wildlife by eliminating the inflow and infiltration problems.
The project will install 10,000 linear foot of new force main along Gautier Vancleave Road, from Old Spanish Trail to the pump station located near Robertsdale Road. Additionally, the project will install 1,000 linear feet of new gravity sewer on Gautier Vancleave Road south of Highway 90.
These new sewer lines will alleviate the pressure on an aging 30-inch concrete pipe that is corroded and in poor condition. This project will also eliminate lift station capacity issues and prevent raw sanitary sewer from backing into homes, front yards and roads.
The City was also awarded $2 million for Town Commons Park to go toward an amphitheater and other amenities.
A $1.9 million Phase I sitework project is currently under construction to build roads and drainage, other infrastructure, parking and the Town Green, a great lawn area where City events such as Cruisin’ the Coast will be held in the future.
The $2 million announced today will go toward future phases of the park, which will bring the outdoor amphitheater, pavilions, restroom and concession facilities, a musical water feature, dog park, musical playground, splash pad, pickleball courts, football field, volleyball courts, fire pits and more.
The Legislature also awarded $1 million to the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance for a project in partnership with the City.
The Mississippi Songwriters Performing Arts Center is envisioned as a 10,000-square-foot center with an interactive Mississippi Songwriters Hall of Fame museum, a small performance hall, workshop/classroom space, an art gallery, and opportunities for Mississippi artists to sell merchandise.
The center will be built across from the Town Commons Park outdoor amphitheater on the Northwest corner of the former Singing River Mall property, a 55-acre parcel that is being redeveloped into a mixed-use development.
“This project is part of an overall effort to develop a centralized, thriving downtown identity for our young and growing city,” City Manager Paula Yancey said. “This PAC will draw visitors regionally, as well as nationally, as music-lovers come to learn about some of the state’s most popular contributors to our musical heritage and hear from songwriters still leaving their marks today. It will also increase local economic activity by enticing both residents and nonresidents to attend concerts while enjoying the natural beauty of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”
Yancey said she expects these Town Commons Park improvements and the Mississippi Songwriters PAC to work in conjunction to attract more commercial and retail development at the old mall property and beyond.
Finally, the Legislature awarded $250,000 in Tidelands funds for Shepard State Park upgrades and another $250,000 for the Mary Walker Bayou parks project, which can be used for Town Commons Park.