Port Bienville and Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission (HCPHC) will be the beneficiary of a grant awarded by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality through the Mississippi Municipality and County Water Infrastructure (MCWI) Grant program. The funds are to be allocated to the Hancock County Water & Sewer District (HCWSD) for the Port Bienville Well & Tank project estimated to cost approximately $4.5 million dollars.
Hancock County Port & Harbor Executive Director/CEO Blaine LaFontaine remarks on the importance of the new infrastructure: “The water deficiency has hindered existing industry expansions, fire ratings, redundancy, and opportunities for new industry at Port Bienville.
HCPHC is grateful for the continued partnership and support from Hancock County Board of Supervisors and the Hancock County Water & Sewer District. We believe this investment will allow Hancock County to have the capacity to be competitive with new opportunities and support our existing industry demands.”
The grant award from MCWI to HCWSD shall not exceed $2,225,110 and is supported with a local match of $2,225,110 from the Hancock County Board of Supervisors from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Theresa Ryan of the Hancock County Board of Supervisors for District 1 commends the new project stating: “Port Bienville serves as an economic engine for Hancock County with approximately 750 jobs and 16 companies. It is important for our Board of Supervisors to use our American Rescue Plan Act funds to address these deficiencies that support and grow our industrial base for existing and future jobs.”
Port Bienville’s existing well and tank is over three decades old and performs at a rate of 750 gallons per minute with a tank capacity of 250,000 gallons to serve all tenants in Port Bienville. The new project site on Webre Road, close to Calgon Carbon, will add redundancy to the system and provide a new well with a proposed rate of 1500gallons per minute, and new tank capacity of 500,000 gallons, more than doubling the existing capacity and water services for Port Bienville.
The project is currently under design from Chiniche Engineering and Surveying, with a projected bid by October 2023, and projected completion by December 2024.
“Hancock County Water & Sewer District is committed to the future growth and demands of our industrial customers at Port Bienville. The well and tank project is just the first phase of our continued efforts to advance Port Bienville infrastructure working with our partners and state legislators” stated Farron Hoda, Chairman of the Hancock County Water & Sewer District.
The Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission was established in 1963 to lead the county’s economic development activities. Stennis International Airport and Port Bienville Industrial Park are home to 30 companies with more than 1,000 employees. For more information visit www.portairspace.com.