After nearly five years since Hurricane Katrina, the City of D’Iberville has steadily worked to rebuild a devastated community and a shattered economy. Beginning with the financial and technical assistance provided by the Governor’s Office of Recovery and Renewal, city leaders and the public charted a new course for redevelopment by incorporating the benefits of smart growth and new urbanism to reverse declining conditions, use and appearance of the City.
The Citizens Master Plan represents that new direction and guides redevelopment efforts and investment to stimulate economic and community growth especially in the downtown, the waterfront and the surrounding neighborhood areas. These areas were the hardest hit by the storm and remain somewhat vulnerable, but these same areas also present the greatest potential for re-growth.
As the five year anniversary of the storm nears, the City and the citizens can be proud of the progress made. Both public and private investment has been made throughout the city with more on the way. A key ingredient to the City’s success has been public involvement in the making of the recovery and redevelopment plans. In order to remain on track, plans need to be revisited and perhaps modified to reflect current or changing conditions. For that reason, the Mayor and City Council appointed an Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) composed of area business operators, citizens, and community leaders to review the current plans and make recommendations to improve them.
A resolution establishing the EDAC is attached. Approximately thirty individuals were appointed to work with the city staff to review and refine the overall economic development plans and strategies. The EDAC began meeting in March and elected a chairman and co-chairman to facilitate the meetings. A visioning and strengths and weakness analysis was conducted to allow each and every member to voice the top concerns and issues either contribute or detract from D’Iberville’s success. With the assistance of Mr. Chuck Ueltschey and Ms Joy Olive, from the Mississippi Power Company a general mission statement was developed and top issues were identified and grouped into four main focus areas.