Port and Harbor eyes new development area
By Dwayne Bremer
May 6, 2014, 19:51
The Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission wants to expand development areas near the Stennis International Airport and has devised a unique way to pay for it.
Port and Harbor Director Ashley Edwards on Monday asked the Hancock County Board of Supervisors to approve a P&H resolution which would allow the commission to advertise for bids for timber sales on approximately 39 acres of land adjacent to the airport.
Supervisors approved the plan by a 5-0 vote.
Edwards said the commission wants to expand the airport footprint and will soon be clearing the 39 acres and the timber sale will offset the costs of the land clearing, he said.
The board also agreed to another proposal which will allow the commission to enter into a consultant service agreement for forestry management and marketing services for the sale of the timber.
Edwards said the land clearing should begin soon and once they are cleared, further site development will follow.
"This is an exciting step for us," Edwards said Tuesday. "We are opening up new sites for development in Hancock County and this is the first time that has happened in a while. We have a lot of interest from developers, but their developments would require a lot of site work. We are hoping that the sale of the timber can produce enough revenue so that we can reinvest it in infrastructure for the sites. All of this is happening because of the response we have been getting."