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May 15, 2006

eNewsletter from the Governor's Office of Recovery and Renewal



Office of Recovery and Renewal Website

Governor Haley Barbour recently launched a new website, which includes a special section for the Office of Recovery and Renewal.  The new Recovery and Renewal section can be reached directly at www.governorbarbour.com/recovery, and can also be accessed by clicking the “Governor’s Office of Recovery and Renewal” link on Governor Barbour’s new official website, www.governorbarbour.com.


The website is intended to inform persons and entities affected by Hurricane Katrina about the resources available to help them recover.  An issues section on the left side of the site contains links to funding resources and general information related to various topics.  Citizens and groups are encouraged to browse the issues section to find resources to match their needs.  The topics include:

  • Housing
  • Individual Needs
  • Small Business and Nonprofits
  • Health
  • Education
  • Infrastructure
  • Environment
  • Historical and Cultural Institutions
  • Community Development
  • Government

Important news and information can be found in the other sections of the website, which will be continually updated with current information and new features.

Housing Workshop for Builders

Governor Barbour will host a housing workshop for builders on May 24th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Imperial Palace in Biloxi.  The meeting will focus on those factors that either facilitate or hinder the construction of housing.  The information provided is intended to give builders the tools they need to make informed decisions regarding how they can help rebuild the Mississippi Gulf Coast.


Specific issues discussed will include, but are not limited to: an assessment of housing needs, available funding sources, policies that affect housing construction, workforce housing needs and the growing housing market north of Interstate 10. 


For more information on the workshop, click here: http://www.governorbarbour.com/recovery/news/2006/may/housingworkshop.htm

Gulf Coast Business Investment Mission

U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez, along with Governor Barbour and Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding Donald Powell, recently led a mission to attract business investment and display economic opportunities on the Gulf Coast.  The business delegation included a diverse mix of companies representing many industry sectors and sizes ranging from major Fortune 500 companies to small and medium-sized enterprises. 


The delegation met with local, state and federal officials to discuss investment opportunities in the region and see first hand the important role the private sector will play in rebuilding the region.


For more information on the Gulf Coast Investment Mission, click here: http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/business/14515433.htm.

Local Floodplain Manager of the Year Award

Stephen Mitchell, Pascagoula Director of Building Services, was recently chosen by the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) as the Local Floodplain Manager of the Year.  The award, which is the highest national honor in the industry, will be formally conferred at their annual conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico in June, where Mitchell will be a guest of honor among the 1,000 attendees.  Officials from Mississippi and FEMA nominated him for the award for his dedication and positive efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. Small Business Administration Awards

Two Mississippians – the director of a local chamber of commerce and a radio broadcaster who provided much needed services after Hurricane Katrina struck – were presented with Phoenix Awards last month during the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Week 2006 -- the agency’s two-day conference in Washington, D.C.


The awards were presented during a breakfast at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.


“These individuals displayed tremendous courage and selflessness in the midst of the most devastating disasters in U.S. history,” said SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto. “The Phoenix Award is an acknowledgment of their heroic efforts, and a token of appreciation for their support of the physical and economic recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast.”


Tish Williams, Executive Director of the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, received the Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Public Official.


After the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce offices were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, Williams met with state officials and asked for help.  She acquired a temporary space for the chamber, secured Internet access, computers and phones, and found benefactors, including chambers of commerce nationwide, to “adopt” Hancock County and assist in rebuilding the county’s business infrastructure. Despite losing her home, Williams worked tirelessly, helping local businesses take the first steps toward recovery


Brice Phillips of WQRZ Radio received the Phoenix Award for his Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Volunteer. 


As Hurricane Katrina approached the Mississippi Coast, Brice Phillips loaded his van with transmitters and extra antennas and relocated WQRZ radio to the county’s emergency operations center. As the storm surge waters reached the building’s second level, Phillips braved the elements and rigged his car batteries to power the station’s broadcasting of search and rescue information.


WQRZ was one of only four Gulf Coast radio stations that stayed on the air in the early days after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast


Five Mississippi businesses were also selected as recipients of SBA awards in 2006.  NVision Solutions Inc., based at the NASA Stennis Space Center, was selected as the SBA “State Winner.” NVision provides a full range of GIS, Remote Sensing, and Database services and application development. Viking Range Corporation, of Greenwood; The Rogue & Good Company, LLC, of Jackson; Gulf Hills Hotel & Conference Center, of Ocean Springs; and KLLM Transport Services, of Richland, all received the American Spirit Award for volunteerism in disaster areas that were impacted by hurricanes Katrina, Rita, or Wilma.


“I am delighted to see these businesses rewarded for their volunteer efforts in the aftermath of these devastating hurricanes,” Governor Barbour said.  “It gives me great hope to see these companies come together to help our state in its toughest moment.  They have truly exemplified Mississippi’s resilient and hospitable spirit.”

Advisory Base Flood Elevations

The Sun Herald recently published an editorial advocating the importance of adopting the Advisory Base Flood Elevations recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


To read the Sun Herald editorial, click here: http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/editorial/14521185.htm.

Mississippi Recovery Fact Sheet

The Governor’s Office of Recovery and Renewal has created a Mississippi Recovery Fact Sheet to track key recovery indicators.  The fact sheet contains data concerning FEMA and Small Business Administration assistance, debris removal, housing permits, sales tax collections and other relevant information.


Mississippi Recovery Fact Sheet


After Katrina: Building Back Better Than Ever


Copies of the final report of the Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal, After Katrina: Building Back Better Than Ever, are now available to the public.  Order forms are available on the Governor’s Commission website, www.governorscommission.com.