Eleuterius' contract extended after his first year as D'Iberville city manager

meperez@sunherald.com Twitter: MaryPerezSHJuly 1, 2014 

D'Iberville City Manager Bobby Eleuterius delivers State of City address at a breakfast on Tuesday morning.

SUN HERALD

D'IBERVILLE -- Bobby Eleuterius celebrated his first anniversary as city manager Tuesday morning by delivering the State of D'Iberville address and Tuesday evening by securing a three-year contract extension from the City Council. His contract now runs through the end of the council's term in 2017.

The council also set a hearing for the next meeting July 15 for a tax-increment financing bond for an Academy Sports store off Sangani Road, east of Outback Steakhouse.

"There are some serious site issues," said W. Fred Hornsby III, city attorney. He said the developers requested an increase of $350,000, which Hornsby said he negotiated down to $250,000. The bond will be less than $1.5 million, he said, and will be repaid with 100 percent of the additional ad valorem tax and 55 percent of the sales tax,

"They can't make the overall project work without it," he said.

D'Iberville has used TIF bonds for 20 years to attract development. The TIF bond for Lakeview Shopping Center on Sangani Boulevard will be paid off in December after 20 years, Eleuterius said. D'Iberville also plans to use TIF bonds for Gulf Coast Galleria shopping mall and Scarlet Pearl Casino.

The city's sales-tax revenue has grown from $17.9 million in 2003 to $32.7 million in 2013, he said. The TIF bonds reimburse the developer for infrastructure work and the sales tax created by the project is used to repay the bonds.

Eleuterius said the key to the city's success is "location, location, location." It also took "faith, hope and investment," he said during his speech at the D'Iberville Civic Center, sponsored by the D'Iberville/St. Martin Chamber of Commerce.

There weren't any surprises in his speech, other than to say a new retail development is in the planning stages at the southeast quadrant of Interstate 10/110.

"Although not officially announced, we have a good chance of landing a big-box wholesaler as an anchor of what could become a 25-acre retail center," he said,

An additional 200 acres for commercial and retail development could open up if a proposed frontage road is built from The Promenade to Cedar Lake Road in Biloxi, he said.

Other highlights:

n Construction of the $250 million Scarlet Pearl Casino will begin in two weeks. He said the putt-putt golf course could attract national championships.

n Coast Transit Authority is building a transit center and has plans for a parking deck.

n Construction of a fire station is nearing completion and is the first step in a public safety complex at the site on Lamey Bridge Road.

n The new sportsplex on Mississippi 15 will have tournament-grade baseball and soccer fields.

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