PETAL, MS (WDAM) - If you have traveled in the city of Petal recently, you may have noticed some changes.
2017 for Petal is beginning with a large street paving project.
"The one thing I really want to focus on in the next year and beyond is our streets," Mayor Hal Marx said. "We have a lot of work to do."
The city is also focused on taking care of the budget.
"I'm hoping we can continue to do well with our budget so that we have more money to put in too our infrastructure," Marx said. "I'm hoping by the time we get to October, I really want to go to the Board of Alderman and ask for a tax decrease."
New businesses are also popping up in the Friendly City. McAlister's Deli is under construction and should be ready to open by April, and Zaxby's is under construction as well.
A hotel in Petal may become a reality sooner than later.
"I've continued to talk to some outsiders interested in possibly bringing a hotel a hotel to Petal. So that would be a boost to our local economy, restaurants and our shops," Marx said.
The economic outlook for the city of Laurel is looking very bright.
With revenue from sales tax on the rise and several new businesses coming to the area, people are excited about the new year.
Mayor Johnny Magee said that Laurel has figured out the right recipe for being a successful city.
"Laurel is business-friendly and the people are friendly, you know, there are some genuine people here in Laurel, you know, there's some knuckleheads around but you've got that everywhere," Magee said. "But the majority of the people in Laurel are just good, down-home people and Laurel has that small town feel to it, people still speak to each other, they still wave at each other and people like that."
Laurel is where the hit HGTV show "Hometown" is filmed, featuring Ben and Erin Napier.