Day pier will open Bay St. Louis harbor to all boaters - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Day pier will open Bay St. Louis harbor to all boaters

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) -

Bay St. Louis leaders are making a change to the ambitious Harbor Marina project set to open this spring. Typically, a change order for a construction project can mean problems, but not this time. This change will actually save money and help ensure the marina's success.

Construction is ahead of schedule on the new Harbor Marina. About 80 percent of the work is done, but now the city has revised part of the plan. Instead of adding a floating pier, a 350 foot long fixed pier will go in parallel to the Jimmy Rutherford Fishing Pier. Mayor Les Fillingame calls it a day pier.

"It will accommodate everything from jet skies, to party barges, to fishing skiffs, to anybody else who just wants to come in and stop off for a few minutes," said Fillingame.

Going with the 'day pier' is saving the city about $73,000. It will also help bring in money from boaters who can dock for a couple of hours to enjoy lunch or shopping in Old Town. The 162 slip marina is already generating a lot of attention.

"We're getting interest from everywhere. We've got boaters from Louisiana, from Florida, Kentucky. People who have second homes here, but have their boats docked somewhere else," said Bay St. Louis Community Development Director Buz Olsen.

"We really think that the viability of this whole harbor project is going to be the visitation that it brings from the boating community into Bay St. Louis. I don't think there will be anywhere else on the Gulf Coast that will be as accommodating to the boating traffic that just wants a destination they can go to and get off their boats, go shop, or go eat, or go to the entertainment venues," explained Mayor Fillingame.

The day pier gives the city a shot at attracting vessels from across the coast, not just those who dock here permanently.

The first phase of the marina project is expected to be ready for boaters in May or June of this year.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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