A bill passed the state House on Saturday that gives the city of Gulfport or its urban renewal agency, the Gulfport Redevelopment Commission, authority to sign long-term leases on seven projects where planned expenditures total $450 million.

The bill is now headed to the Senate for a vote.

On Thursday, the City Council struck a deal with the GRC to give the council more control over multimillion-dollar waterfront projects, such as the harbor casino and aquarium.

The council and GRC reached the deal as a result of the state Supreme Court’s recent ruling that a local government can enter into long-term leases only with express permission from the Legislature.


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