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Moss Point’s “Celebration Designation” set for Feb. 25

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Moss Point, MS - When Moss Point’s iconic Downtown Clock strikes 11 a.m. on Feb. 25 the City will officially become a “Main Street City.” To mark this occasion the City is holding a “Designation Celebration” around the clock’s base with Gray Swoope, Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority and Mississippi Main Street representatives.

Moss Point is the only City in the State of Mississippi to receive the designation this year. Becoming one of the communities that bear the official designation as a Certified Mississippi Main Street Association is very competitive. Of the 56 Main Street cities statewide, only seven are in South Mississippi.

“Moss Point offered one of the most complete and compelling applications we have ever seen,” Stacy Pair, Mississippi Main Street Southern District Director, said. “The community cooperation and municipal buy-in was apparent. That is exactly what our application panel looks for. The passion and organization of the Moss Point team really set them apart.”

Mississippi Main Street has a solid reputation for restoring a community’s historical fabric, creating sustainable commerce and bringing new vitality to it’s communities. The Association is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Mississippi Development Authority.

To earn this recognition, residents along with city officials, business leaders, and FEMA Long Term Recovery came together to form the “Moss Point Main Street Designation Taskforce” almost a year ago.

“This ‘Main Street’ designation confirms what we’ve known for years; the City of Moss Point is a treasure just waiting to be fully discovered,” said Monica Cooper-Battle, chairman of the Main Street Designation Taskforce. “This recognition affirms us as a desirable address for businesses and residents alike.”

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With the turn of the clock, the City of Moss Point will become the Mississippi Main Street Association’s Certified “Main Street City” for 2009.

As part of the application process the Designation Taskforce created first year goals and objectives, answered 13 narrative questions about Moss Point, and compiled a “Community, City Government and Historic Fabric” profile. All of which can be viewed at http://www.rebuildmosspoint.org/mosspointmainstreet.

Becoming a Main Street City isn’t a casual wish come true for Phil and Sally Scordino, owners of Scordino’s Main Street Market in Downtown and members of the Taskforce.

“We’ve worked hard for this,” said Phil. “And we are ecstatic we’ve been chosen.”

With Downtown as a focal point of revitalization, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen have provided the Main Street Designation Taskforce support, both financially and through the availability of resources.

“The Downtown district has historical and economic significance for Moss Point,” Mayor Xavier Bishop said. “Once the center of commerce for the entire City, today downtown shares that spotlight with other commercial areas within Moss Point while remaining the heart of the City and the gateway to our fabulous waterfront.”

ABOVE: E-card sent to community leaders and businesses within Moss Point and Jackson County

Columbus Main Street Celebrates 23 Years

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Group urged to strive for a better downtown
By Wade H. Leonard
wleonard@cdispatch.com

Main Street Columbus celebrated 23 years of existence Wednesday, handing out awards to its supporters and getting some advice from an old friend of the city.

At its annual luncheon, the organization reported the opening of 15 new businesses in downtown Columbus in 2008 and the closing of six; the creation of 50 new jobs and the loss of 11; and eight facade rehabilitations. The organization also noted the downtown area could soon boast 138 upper-floor lofts and apartments — the highest number in the state.

Gregg Mims, who served as Columbus’ chief operations officer from 2001 to 2006, was the guest speaker. Mims is currently the COO for Fairhope, Ala., near Mobile. Mims was enthusiastic about downtown Columbus and said it acts as a model for downtown refurbishment projects in other cities.

“Y’all are truly the leader in downtown development,” he said. “Not just in Mississippi but in the Southeast.”

Mims encouraged the assembled body not to rest on its laurels, but to continue to strive to make downtown Columbus even better.

“So goes your downtown, so goes your community,” he said. “You need to redouble your efforts to do bigger and better things in downtown Columbus.”

Mims also told the audience the city needs to get serious about annexation, saying the city needs the tax base from businesses which lay outside the city limits. But overall, Mims said, few other Southern cities have been as successful as Columbus with their downtown projects.

“Just keep doing what you’re doing,” he said.

Awards and honors

Several citizens and business owners were honored during the meeting. Awards were given out in three different categories. The Main Street Design and Renovation awards were awarded to citizens and business owners who, in 2008, refurbished existing buildings or built new structures which enhanced the look and quality of life downtown. The Main Street Service awards were given to individuals and organizations who worked to help Main Street Columbus on its mission to revitalize and improve the downtown area.

However, the most prestigious award of the event, the President’s Award, is handed out to one person a year who best exemplifies the goals and ideals of Main Street. This year, the award was given to longtime Main Street supporter Nell Thomas. Thomas has served the organization since it began in 1985. In her time she has served as manager, board member and volunteer; Thomas was manager of the organization during the very first Market Street Festival.

“I love this organization more than you will ever know,” Thomas said upon receiving the award.

Main Street Design and Renovation awards were handed out to the following recipients:

Ruth and Scott Berry; Fritz Ehrentraunt and Donnie Counts of 509 Tapas Restaurant; Chris Chain of Renovations of Mississippi; Brian and Bubba Huckabee of Huck’s Restaurant; Mark Castleberry of Castle Properties; The Brunini Law Firm; Gloria Herriott of Holly Hocks; Doug and Katherine Phillips of DKR Properties; David and Anne Griffin of Mississippi Coffee House; Becky and Clifton Scott of Granby Properties; and Mary Broussard and Beth and Joe Rogers of J. Broussard’s Restaurant.

Main Street Service awards were handed out to the city of Columbus, Susan Bell, Pat Wheeler, Tjajuan Boswell, Bo Jarrett, Kevin Stafford, David Sanders and Jason Heleniak.

Main Street Columbus is responsible for several high profile Columbus events and activities including the Market Street Festival, Noon Tunes, Afternoon Tunes, The Hitching Lot Farmer’s Market, the Columbus Christmas Parade, Wassail Fest, Columbus Day Celebration, the New Year’s Eve Block Party and Sounds of Summer.

MMSA Team Makes Planning Visit to Byhalia

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Staff members from the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) toured Byhalia on Friday, Jan. 16 along with several community leaders. The tour was made in preparation for the upcoming Economic Development Charrette program to be conducted in Byhalia on May 4-6. The charrette program identifies assets of the community, visually presents design recommendations, preservation projects and promotion opportunities to the community through a printed piece designed to create excitement on the part of the citizens, private sector businesses and the public sector.

Photo: Sam Agnew, MMSA Program Director, Northern District; Sarah Sawyer, Executive Director, Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce, Bill Mobley, Marshall Co. IDA Director; Stacy Pair, MMSA Program Director, Southern District; Jan Miller, Program Director, Central District; Rick DeBardeleben, Byhalia Alderman; Randy Wilson, MMSA Director of Design Services; and Leah Grant, Chamber Board Director. Attending the meeting but not pictured: Alderman Phil Malone, Rev. Anthony Langley and Design Consultant Cheilus Carter.

Annual Chidren’s Mardi Gras Walking Parade in Biloxi

Saturday, February 21, 2009
1:00 P.M.


The City of Biloxi, the Mardi Gras Museum, and Gulf Coast Carnival Association invite all children ages 12 and younger to participate in the annual Children’s Mardi Gras walking parade February 21, 2009. This is a non-motorized parade. Bikes, skates, skateboards, scooters and wagons are acceptable. Children are encouraged to be creative and dress in costumes and decorate their bikes, wagons, etc. The theme for this year’s parade will be “Islands around the World”. Costumes and Floats will be judged according to the theme. This will give the children the opportunity to use their imagination and express what Mardi Gras means to them.

Parade will begin at 1:00 p.m. under the I-110 over pass on Howard Ave. It will continue east on Howard thru the Vieux Marche Mall and turn south on Lameuse Street and end at the Biloxi Town Green. Participants need to arrive under the overpass to sign in at
12:00 p.m. A limited amount of throws will be available for the children. Children are encouraged bring additional throws. Parents and guardians are welcomed to walk with the children. Children 9 years of age and younger are required to have a parent/guardian walk with them. Applications will be distributed through all Biloxi Schools or can be picked up at the Recreation Office in Hiller Park and the Downtown Services Office located at 932 Howard Ave. at the Bond-Grant House. Applications need to be turned into the Downtown Services Office or mailed to P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS. 39533, by Friday, February 13th.

At the conclusion of the parade the Biloxi Parks and Recreation Department will have refreshments for all participants of the parade. There will be a costume and float contest for individuals immediately following the parade. Trophies and cash prizes will be awarded. For more information, please call Kay Miller @ 228-435-6339.



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Mississippi Main Street Association
P.O. Box 55747 | Jackson, MS 39296
Phone: 601/944-0113
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District Offices:
P.O. Box 445 | Columbus, MS 39703 | 662- 364-0435
426 Northpointe Lake Dr. | Oxford, MS 38655 | 601-941-5409
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Mississippi Main Street is a program of the National Main Street
Center and the Mississippi Development Authority