Mayor of Hattiesburg gives a glimpse of 2011

By Karrie Leggett

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -  As Mayor Johnny DuPree reflects on 2010, he says he is optimistic about what is in store for the city of Hattiesburg in 2011 and new infrastructure top's the list.

"We received about $400,000 for an environmental study for the Western Beltway, that is to connect highway 98 to highway 49. That is the first phase in trying to actually make that connection. It has to do with the traffic. Moving traffic more efficiently," said DuPree.

DuPree says jobs is an outstanding factor for the people of Hattiesburg, so the city is looking into new economic ventures .

"Certainly we have been working one retail Sporting Goods establishment that we have been working on for several months. Hopefully, that will come to fruition the early part of this year. We are always working with manufactory firms. Hopefully, some of those will come to Hattiesburg," said DuPree.

DuPree says when he reflects on the highs and lows of 2010, his high point is Chain Park and his low point is the incidents that took place at the Hattiesburg Police Department.

"Opening Chain Park in Ward Two, that was a high point. It was a means of bringing people together from across this city. So, it was a coming together for the city of Hattiesburg. That was a high point for us especially in this down economy. It was a means of celebration. Low points had to do with people that resigned or were in the middle of controversy with our police department. That was certainly a low point. Any time those kinds of things happen it takes something out of you. Especially with people that you know and love and their families. Those are certainly low points," said DuPree.

DuPree says the city has a lot on its plate like Rails to Trails and completing Safe Route to School but knowing that the city will be better for it in the end makes him hopeful for the next year.

"I am always optimistic. I think if you never ask you never get. So we continue to try to find ways to lessen the burden of the citizens of Hattiesburg and find ways to make their life better," said DuPree.