Billions of BP settlement dollars being spent to restore the Gulf of Mexico
Gulfport residents would finally get the indoor swimming pool so many want, Gautier could develop its town center, and the state port could bring back frozen chicken with projects an advisory committee green-lighted for BP funds the state Legislature controls.
The seven-person Gulf Coast Restoration Fund committee whittled down — from 119 to 29 — the proposals it is considering for funding the state receives from the 2010 BP catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Legislature has $57 million in hand, with another $30 million expected to be available in 2020. The state will continue to receive $30 million a year through 2033.
The committee meets again Oct. 7 to finalize its recommended list. The oversight agency for the money, the Mississippi Development Authority, will finalize the list before it goes to the Legislature.
Legislators could select some or all of the projects recommended, but they could also bypass the committee recommendations and choose any projects originally on the list, committee chairman Ashley Edwards said.
Committee members, appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House, said they were surprised some applicants failed to provide much of the documentation requested. Some projects lacked the 20 percent match required. And MDA staff will be busy gathering answers from semi-finalists to the committee’s many questions.
The complete list of submitted applications can be viewed here. The list includes links to backup documentation for each project.
Projects the committee liked and will consider recommending are listed with total project cost, amount of GCRF funding requested, project sponsor and description:
▪ $73.5 million total, $32.5 million, GCRF; University of Southern Mississippi, Ocean Enterprise building construction at state port aimed at high-tech partnerships and economic development.
▪ $44.2 million total, $35.4 million, GCRF; National Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute, research center construction.
▪ $31.2 million total, $26 million GCRF; Gulfport Memorial Hospital, multi-specialty center construction.
▪ $26.6 million total, $8.8 million GCRF; OHOS Development LLC, parking garage near downtown for city of Ocean Springs use.
▪ $23 million total, $18 million GCRF; Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA, build a YMCA, complete with swimming pool, at Gulfport Highands north of Interstate 10 off Cowan-Lorraine Road.
▪ $18 million total, $9 million GCRF; city of Biloxi, Point Cadet Marina redevelopment.
▪ $17.2 million total, $13.8 million GCRF; Mississippi State Port Authority, cold storage facility with flash-freeze capability at the East Pier warehouse.
▪ $11.9 million total, $9.5 million, GCRF; Aeroject Rocketdyne testing facility for AR1 rockets at Stennis Space Center:
▪ $11.5 million total, $7 million GCRF; city of Gautier, Town Center development.
▪ $11.2 million total, $1.2 million GCRF; Pearl River Community College, aviation aerospace workforce academy.
▪ $9.4 million total, $7.5 million GCRF; Mississippi Veterans Affairs, road for planned Veterans Administration home at Tradition community in Harrison County.
▪ $8.4 million total, $6.7 million GCRF; Hancock County Utility Authority, sewerage for new development at Stennis Space Center.
▪ $8 million total, $6.5 million GCRF; Stone County School District, career and technical education center.
▪ $6.9 million total, $3.9 million GCRF; Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport Authority, site expansion and preparation.
▪ $6.8 million total, $6.1 million GCRF; Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission, multi-use “aero strip.”
▪ $6.5 million total, $5.4 million GCRF; city of Pass Christian, acquire and make available for development land in the downtown area.
▪ $4 million total, $2 million GCRF; city of Biloxi, Saenger Theatre restoration.
▪ $4 million total, $3.2 million GCRF; city of Long Beach, beachfront and gateway improvements.
▪ $3.5 million total, $2.8 million; Michael Reso, frontage road north of Interstate 10 at Diamondhead for commercial development.
▪ $2.5 million total, 2.1 million, GCRF; Coastal Mississippi tourism bureau, event sponsorship, promotion and creation.
▪ $2.5 million total, $2 million GCRF; Jackson County Board of Supervisors, Blueway Connection Project on the Pascagoula River.
▪ $2 million total, $1.6 million GCRF; city of Bay St. Louis, Depot District improvements.
▪ $1.8 million total, 1.4 million GCRF; Walter Anderson Museum of Art, creative complex with indoor and outdoor space in downtown Ocean Springs..
▪ $1.4 million total, $1.2 million GCRF; Coastal Mississippi tourism bureau, market the Coast for business conventions and events.
▪ $1.2 million total, $1 million, GCRF; Gulf Coast Community Foundation, improve pathways south of U.S. 90, add crosswalks and lighting between Cowan Road and Edgewater Mall.
▪ $500,000 total, $400,000 GCRF; Mississippi Aquarium traveling bus, shaped like a submarine, for statewide promotion and education.
▪ $292,946 total, $234,358, GCRF; John C. Robinson Brown Condor Association, observation deck for aviation museum in Gulfport.
▪ $217,000 total, $100,000 GCRF, Gulfport School District, finish a STEM Exploratorium constructed from shipping containers.
▪ $57,000 total, $45,600 GCRF, Harrison County Library System, Venture Lab would add computer cubicles for patrons, especially those seeking work.