Bay enters agreement with county on parking garage and community center

Bay St. Louis

The City of Bay St. Louis and Hancock County government are entering into a joint agreement for a new parking garage now under construction in Old Town, and a community center that will eventually be built atop the structure.

The Bay City Council formally approved entering the agreement this week. It calls for the city to operate the two-story parking garage on Court Street, at the site of the former Hancock County Jail. The jail was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina and was eventually demolished.

The parking garbage is still under construction. Because of cost overruns, its price has now risen to more than $1.21 million. Once it is completed, county officials plan to build a community center on the third floor of the structure for about $2 million.

Construction costs for both facilities are being paid through federal Community Development Block Grant funds.

A new interlocal agreement calls for the city to own and operate the parking garage, and pay all insurance and operational costs for the two floors. The county will cover those same costs on the third-floor community center.

A document spelling out the agreement does not contain any expiration date, but says both parties must jointly agree in writing if the agreement is ever terminated.

County officials have said the community center will be available to the public to rent for conferences, social gatherings, weddings, or other events.

BY: J.R. Welsh

The Sea Coast Echo

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