PETAL, MS (WDAM) - A revitalization program is underway in the city of Petal in an effort to fill vacant buildings in the downtown area.
“We have our old Pizza Hut downtown Petal, old Dominos and McDonalds. A lot of food places have moved out plus we have the Rite Aid building which is a very large building,” said Petal Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Valerie Wilson.
Vacant properties sit in the heart of downtown. Wilson said the revitalization program now established through the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District is opening the door for new business opportunities.
“Downtown revitalization is important to any city," Wilson said. "That is the heart of the city. We look forward to anything we can do to get our people back to downtown.”
“This is Main Street. This is Central Avenue, and like I said, we have about two blocks some streets here that have some commercial buildings,” Petal Mayor Hal Marx said.
Marx explained the program allows someone to open a new business or remodel an existing business in the specified area. This is a grant reimbursement and incentive program for the redevelopment of those blighted commercial properties on Main Street and Central Avenue.
“They will have a 10-year window basically for sales tax they generate, they get half of that back," Marx said. "The city will still get half of what we normally would get. We feel like it’s a great program for us because it’s not costing us any money. We are still going to get fifty percent of sales tax we normally wouldn’t have anyway. Then, they are able to get some money back to pay for some of the costs. So, it’s a win win proposition.”
“Anything you can do to encourage a business to make that investment and to step forward and encourage them is very worthwhile,” Wilson added.
If you are interested in the program you are asked to call Petal City Hall at 601-545-1776.