GULFPORT -- Saucier is one step closer to getting an industrial park.
The Board of Supervisors on Monday approved a $4.6 million contract to start construction.
Miller Enterprises of Hattiesburg will build the roads and water and sewer lines for the 621-acre property.
The Harrison County Development Commission began searching for a location for the park 10 years ago. Interim Executive Director Bill Hessell said they hope to attract light industry, which typically produces smaller, more consumer-oriented goods than heavy industry.
"We're thinking suppliers to the either automotive or aerospace industry, or distribution-type centers," he said.
After the infrastructure is in place, Hessell said the commission will be able to start recruiting companies to the park.
"Now that we have finally gotten to that stage, the development commission will start a much more-active marketing and recruitment program," he said.
The county has five industrial parks in Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport and Biloxi.
"The next logical location was in the more northern portion of the county," he said, "because we had the east/west track taken care of. So we felt the most appropriate place to put the next park was to the north."
The property is near the area where Noble Road dead-ends into Old Highway 49. The highway and a Kansas City Southern Railroad line run along the eastern edge.
"It's such a good location for an industrial park," said Connie Rockco, supervisor of District 5. "Hopefully, it will employ enough people in the area that they can see what an asset it will be for their community."
Rockco said a lot of residents complained about the park during the initial stages. She said she walked along the property line with some of the project engineers to make sure no houses were too close to it.
"We are leaving a considerable buffer between any homes that are around there," she said.
There are two clusters of residential areas to the north and south of the property, both of which connect to Old Highway 49 via Sadler Road. Hessell said Sadler Road will no longer exist once the park is built, and new roads would connect the houses to the highway.
"We are making sure that they will always have their access to their homes," Hessell said.