Diamondhead leaders expecting growth in year ahead
By Dwayne Bremer
Jan 3, 2014, 17:41
Diamondhead city leaders are hoping for big things in 2014 as it continues to move forward and grow.
"We have several things on tap this year and we are actively looking for ways to improve and expand our business sector," Mayor Tommy Schafer said Friday.
Schafer said the city's budget is on solid footing headed into 2014 and it is currently eyeing a host of drainage projects and upgrades to roads, including the Exit 16 interchange at Interstate 10.
"We had a very productive meeting with MDOT about the interstate exchange," Schafer said. "Improving that exchange could be a key for commercial development."
The city council last month passed a resolution pledging its support for a future casino project, but neither of the two proposed casinos in the city are expected to begin construction in 2014.
One of the biggest issues currently facing the city is the plan for its future city hall.
Diamondhead currently has a lease-purchase agreement with the Diamondhead Baptist Church, but there has been some uproar in the community about the potential purchase.
Schafer said it will ultimately be up to the city council to decide whether the city should purchase the property or go in a different direction.
One issue which has been resolved is the question regarding law enforcement services in the city.
Last month, the city council agreed in principal on a two-year extension of the contract with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office. The agreement means the city will most likely not create its own police force any time soon.
Schafer said he believes the city will continue to move forward in the next 12 months, although there may be some unforeseen challenges.
"The city has come a long way, but there is a lot to be done," he said.