Downtown Hattiesburg to get facelift

Downtown Hattiesburg will be getting a facelift in the upcoming years, with some visible work beginning in the next couple of months.

Mayor Johnny Dupree spoke to residents at the Hattiesburg Historic Downtown Association this morning, giving a list of upcoming improvements. Dupree said $300,000 will soon be used in relighting downtown streets.

The first phase is expected to begin July 1, with work on Main Street. A new downtown fire station is also on the way. Dupree said the city applied for a $1.2 million grant to help with construction because the current station is still damaged from Hurricane Katrina. Dupree says paving projects are also on the road to drive more life into downtown.

"We have people who have expended a lot of their money, put a lot of their hard earned money into a renovating buildings and bringing businesses to downtown Hattiesburg," said Mayor Johnnie DuPree. "What we want to do is make sure that we continue that process of having footsteps downtown to make it a more viable place."

Speaking of footsteps, you can also expect to see a Walk of Fame downtown. Mayor DuPree says two people with local or national prominence will be selected each year to have their names set in stone, with the first two hopefully placed by the end of the year.