by Hunter Dawkins
After 5 years of planning and the hiring of a new Executive Director for the State Port Jonathan Daniels from upstate New York, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant told The Gazebo Gazette exclusively that “I have personal pride in what has been accomplished here at the State Port.”
From dealing with federal delegation, executive branch Housing & Urban Development (HUD) requirements, attempting to gauge state funds, and local government concerns, the Mississippi State Port in Gulfport finally finished “Phase 1” of the work in restoration. “We have an exciting Phase 2 with more on the way,” said Daniels to The Gazebo Gazette. “I can’t release the details now, but more jobs and companies are on there way.”
Several state officials spoke before the ribbon cutting, including Port Commissioner President Jim Simpson, Harrison County Board of Supervisors President Angel Kibler-Middleton, Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes, and finally Governor Bryant all speaking about the hard work of the staff and employees of the Port during the process. Simpson spoke of the project to come and the large amount of money for this, Kibler-MIddleton told a great story about the need for pavement on Canal Road because of the trucks that travel this route, Hewes brought his legislative friendship to the table to get this restoration done, and Governor Bryant’s appreciation to Daniels for being aggressive and passionate about his job.
“We have a number of visitors today, both international and from large companies,” said Governor Bryant to The Gazebo Gazette. “This Port has a product that we can market today.” Following the speakers, the Governor and Mississippi Developent Authority Executive Director Glen McCullough gave Daniels an award for the restoration.