The city of Bay St. Louis and the Hancock County Board of Supervisors have partnered together to begin a $1.5 million "Pier 5" expansion project at the Bay Municipal Harbor.
"Hancock County will commit $1 million towards the project in partnership with the city of Bay St. Louis using existing Tidelands funds to begin the … project," according to a press release issued Thursday. "The project includes an addition of 43 new slips and will accommodate vessels ranging from 25 feet up to 65 feet."
"The expansion of Bay St. Louis Harbor will continue to invest in our downtown and assets a time where we are seeing unprecedented growth and tourism in Bay St. Louis," Supervisors President Blaine LaFontaine said in the release.
"It's an important thing for Hancock County and its future," LaFontaine said Friday.
"We are grateful for the Hancock County Board of Supervisors' partnership with the city," Mayor Mike Favre said in the release, "and this will help our harbor continue its growth and meet demands in our local market."
"Since opening in June of 2014, the Bay St Louis Municipal Harbor has experienced steady growth in both occupancy and fuel sales," according to an Economic Impact Study on the harbor. "In those years the business activity in the downtown area adjacent to the harbor has also grown. and with that sales tax revenues have also seen a steady increase. The addition of pier 5 would help satisfy the demand for both long term and transient dockage for vessels in the 40’ to 65’ range, increasing harbor revenues, sales taxes and bringing more visitors to downtown Bay St Louis."
The project could go out for bids as early as next week, and should get under way some time during the summer, officials said.