GAUTIER -- The city of Gautier has several projects under way to further economic development.
The council will award the construction contract for the ion exchange filtration system at tonight's meeting. Once completed, City Manager Samantha Abell said the system will be the first of its kind in the state. The ion exchange filtration system has the same results as the reverse osmosis system and it will remove the brown tint that is currently in Gautier's water supply.
Abell said this system's operating and maintenance costs are much lower than the reverse osmosis system.
"Unlike osmosis, the cost to operate ion exchange won't be a burden for future development to carry. There is no sticker shock like that of other systems, but the clarity is the same. Hotels, restaurants and new subdivisions won't need expensive individual filtration systems, and ion exchange is much more environmentally friendly to boot," Abell said. "Economic sustainability is a top priority of this administration."
Abell said the funding for the new system came from refinancing old utility bonds from pre-annexation.
Gautier Mayor Gordon Gollott expects Singing River Mall demolition to be completed by September. Construction on Walmart will begin shortly after and Gollott said he expects it to be open by September 2015.
Walmart and Belk are currently the only confirmed retailers in the $90 million project, but Gollott said once Walmart nears completion, he expects retailers to begin signing on board.
In addition, Gollott said the 16-acre medical complex on Mississippi 57 will break ground within the next few months. He has already received inquiries from restaurants and hotels that are considering coming to the area.
An archery range will open later this summer at Shepard State Park as part of a partnership with the state. City officials plan for this to be a site of competitions, bringing travelers into the area.
Councilman Hurley Ray Guillotte said he has looked at several archery ranges across the state and wants to make this one multi-purpose and not just specific to one type of archery.
"There is a shortage on the Gulf Coast for archery ranges. We just don't have it here," Guillotte said. "I think Gautier is going to have one of the finest of anywhere around."