There was a big check presentation Thursday on the Coast. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann brought the annual tidelands fund check home to South Mississippi.
Surrounded by Coast Legislators, Hosemann delivered the check and described 2011 as a banner year.
“It’s $9.7 million. It’s the most ever collected. I’m proud of our staff. They’ve worked hard. Everyone has paid their rent. We have $9.7 million to spend on the Coast,” Hosemann said.
The biggest story behind this year’s appropriation secures the state’s ownership of Deer Island off Biloxi’s mainland.
“We’re going to pay off Deer Island this year. We’re paying the final million dollars. That’s a great use of the money,” Hosemann said.
“There are still a few private parcels out there that we’re trying to buy. Eventually we’ll own the entire island,” Executive Director of the Department of Marine Resources Dr. Bill Walker added.
Tidelands funds, from leases collected primarily from coast casinos are used to enhance waterfront areas in the 3 coastal counties.