Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves can come back any time.
Reeves was on the Coast last week trying to soothe the Coast’s perennial case of the jitters about state funding. We’re thankful for the state’s help on some big project such as MGM Park in Biloxi and the aquarium proposed for Gulfport.
But we get a little nervous when money that should be earmarked for the Coast winds up in Jackson. Yes, we remember the casino road money.
Reeves reiterated his commitment to spending on the Coast most of the BP settlement the state will receive for economic damages. And like Reeves, we’re realists. We know the Coast won’t get everything it wants or needs. But that money is meant to restore an economy devastated by the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. And in Mississippi, that damage occurred on the Coast.
We also support Reeves’ plan to have a series of public meetings on the BP money and that’s not just because we like visits from one of the most powerful officials in the state.
It’s true there is a massive Go Coast 2020 report out there that gathered a lot of information from the Coast’s people. But that report is more than four years old.
A lot has happened since it was released in 2012. Many of its architects have moved on. And the Coast has a new set of challenges — the oyster-killing flood, for example — that occurred after the report was made.
We don’t expect the massive expenditure of time and effort that produced Go Coast. Like Reeves said, it’s a great start. We just want it dusted off and updated. And honed.
We expect this will be the Coast’s final word on how those millions are spent. We’d like to see a lot of a friends and neighbors at those meetings.
No one knows what the Coast needs as well as the people who live here.
The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.