City of Waveland Update
I am happy to present the following accomplishments to you the citizens of Waveland. I would first like to say that 2018 has started with much momentum and has been a very prosperous year thus far, I am even more excited to report that the future outlook looks even brighter. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Affordable residential lots are available and new homes are springing up throughout the city. We currently have 30 single family residential homes under construction and we have had over 115 constructed since 2014.
- Welcome Arby’s! I am very excited that through negotiations between the owners of the local franchise and the City that Arby’s has chosen to come to our wonderful city. We are equally excited to announce that they are locating in the old Hardee’s building that closed last year. Plans have been submitted, approved and construction is underway. We can’t wait for them to open!!
- The old Coast Inn and Suites at the intersection of Hwy 90 and Hwy 603 has been purchased and the developer is planning an exciting new project. He is currently looking at options to completely remodel the hotel and to repurpose the area currently housing the waterpark.
- Earlier this year the City went out for bid to lease the vacant spaces of the Waveland Business Center. We were very fortunate that the lease was awarded to Studio Inferno out of Metairie and thus far they have been a great partner to the City. The business is now open and thriving on Coleman Avenue and we believe that this is a major step to promotion and redevelopment of our Downtown. Owners, Mitchell and Erica are an asset to our community and bring a unique type of art and culture to our charming little city.
- A small comfort station is near completion and will soon be open at the Elwood Bourgeois Park. This facility will be handicapped accessible and will service the park, basketball court, tennis court and the newly installed splash pad. Cost were reduced on this project by utilizing some excess materials that the city had from previous projects.
- The City has recently been awarded a grant from the Mississippi Development Authority to construct a new community center in the Martin Luther King Jr. Park. The 100% grant funded community center will replace and update a number of existing dilapidated structures currently in the park and is planned to be roughly 1200 sq. feet. The centers amenities will include a kitchen, concession area both indoor and outdoor restrooms. The center will be available for weddings, birthday parties and community events. The design and environmental permitting is currently underway.
- The Waveland Ave Sidewalk Project was approved for funding in 2015 and is currently out for bid. The project is funded by the Mississippi Department of Transportation and will consists of new drainage and 5’ sidewalks on both the east and west sides of Waveland Avenue. The project will connect Highway 90 to the railroad tracks and will improve pedestrian safety and assist with children getting on and off their school busses.
- The Nicholson Avenue widening and pedestrian project is currently under design and scheduled to begin at the end of 2018. This project will create a bike and pedestrian path on both sides of the rode, will increase safety and will begin at Jeff Davis Avenue and terminate at Highway 90. This project will also include a complete overlay of Nicholson Avenue, improve some minor drainage issues and is 80% grant funded through MDOT and the Gulf Regional Planning Commission.
- The Citywide Sewer repair and replacement project is currently underway. The bids have been accepted, notice to proceed has been given and construction has begun. We understand that some of you will be inconvenienced but please be patient during construction and contact City Hall if you have any issues. The project will include Meadow Lane, Herlihy Street, Edna, portions of Gladstone and Arnold and other sporadic areas within the city. When this project is complete we should have a reduction in treatment and maintenance cost to you.
- Waveland Architects, Ed and Nora Wikoff have recently completed some conceptual renderings of the Coleman Avenue District. These conceptual drawings are part of the Waveland Redevelopment Plan and are one small piece of a plan that consists of tax incentives, public spaces, an elevated boardwalk and other public improvements. The proposed plan will assist in the redevelopment of Coleman Avenue. It will allow a creative way for local and new business’s to relocate back downtown and will assist potential businesses with accessibility issues and in overcoming the challenges of the drastic flood elevations imposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Once all of the architectural drawings and plan details are completed, public meetings will be conducted for your review and comment.
- Our much anticipated Waveland Lighthouse and Bathroom facility is currently under construction and on schedule. The project should be completed by the fall of 2018. The lighthouse project will be a catalyst for Coleman Avenue and the surrounding areas, it will consist of a public restroom facility, a covered pavilion for festivals and events and an outdoor classroom. The cost of construction this project is $1.9 million dollars and is being funded through restricted sand beach enhancement monies from three major sources including; Tidelands Appropriations from water bottom leases, Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) funds and Seawall and Sand Beach funds. Because of the ongoing partnership between the Hancock County Board of Supervisors and the City of Waveland no direct general fund monies will be used for construction. I would like to say THANK YOU, to our Hancock County Board of Supervisors for all of their assistance.
- The long awaited and much needed beach side parking will soon be a reality. The Hancock County Board of Supervisors will soon be going out for bid on one 10 space parking bay on the waterside along Beach Boulevard. The one in Waveland will be located adjacent to Laffite drive and the volleyball courts. The construction will include pagodas and allow handicapped parking and accessibility along the pedestrian walking path. This project is being funded solely through Seawall and Sand Beach funds and again I would like to express my appreciation to the Hancock County Board of Supervisors for their partnerships with the city.
Waveland Beautification Program
- In 2015 the position of Litter Control Officer was created. This program continues to grow focusing on litter control and beautification efforts. This program utilizes inmates who can work off fines as community service. You see them along highways and streets cleaning our city. Our current Litter Control Officer, George Coatney, has been successful in working with the grass cutting employees to develop a schedule to pick up litter before the grass is cut in an area. This has brought about work efficiencies. This far reaching program addresses litter control, tire removals, and cleaning dump sites. Mr. Coatney is also a member of the Keep Waveland Beautiful volunteer committee.
- Waveland has been fortunate to have an active Keep Waveland Beautiful (KWB) Committee for many years. This group is comprised of mainly volunteers working alongside city employees. Highlighting some of the projects: maintaining trees along Hwy 90, cleaning up Coleman Ave., participating in Great America Cleanup, Coastal Cleanup and Waveland’s Trunk-R-Treat night. They also have hosted Meet and Greets, community awareness programs and the “Paint the barrels for trash cans” program with local schools.
- The two major KWB 2018 campaigns, spearheaded by Jim Meggett, are:
- Planting palm trees along our Beach! The plan is to have palm trees on the beach across from all streets intersecting Beach Blvd. The first three palms are across from Market.
- Planting Live oaks and crepe myrtles in various sites throughout the city such as Hwy 90 and the new Town Greene on Coleman.
- An impressive fact is there are approximately 117 miles of streets in Waveland, and the KWB Block Captain program sees at least 30 miles of city and beach cleaned every week by these volunteers.
- Our Blighted property program continues to be successful. Blighted homes and businesses are being demolished following Mississippi State Statue and we are working to clean up theses as quickly as legally possible. Working through the Secretary of State and the state auctions process, we have also been able to decrease the number of state owned abandoned parcels from 160 to less than 100 and get these properties back on the tax rolls for everyone benefit
- Our Public Works Department is working diligently to keep the grass under control, the ditches clean and the citywide culvert cleanout program on track. This process along with other proactive steps including the addition of 12 fulltime employees to our Public Works Department since 2014, will help alleviate the flooding and improve drainage in your neighborhoods.
- The new Golf Cart Legislation has passed and went into effect July 1st. We are working diligently with the City of Bay St. Louis to create an ordinance that will work for everyone, so that people that utilize golf carts can cross city lines and be compliant with the law.