LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Laurel has made improvements over the last decade and as the new one begins, the city doesn’t plan on slowing down.
Mayor Johnny Magee is keeping his focus on streets and infrastructure.
“Going to redo Central Avenue, the 500 block of Central Avenue, we’re moving the flagpole and making it a true roundabout there at Central Avenue,” Magee said.
The street will be repaved and a stage will be placed for events in the place of the flagpole.
The Chamber of Commerce wants to add programs for workers in the area.
“We see the growth of our community in Laurel and Jones County as a whole," said Amanda Roll, director of the Jones County Chamber of Commerce. "It really comes down to the people that we have here in place. The strength of our companies is really through the people we employ and the work that we do within our community.”
Those businesses are excited about what the new year holds, including the 18 events already on the calendar.
“It’s just a way for us, while we have customers downtown, to get them in our store while they’re here," said Alize Matthews, owner of Shug’s Cookie Dough and Candy Bar. “We’re real fortunate to have an organization that’s putting on so many events throughout the year.”
Judi Holifield with Laurel Main Street said having people come downtown for events is great.
“But we’d like to see a few more 39440 and 39443 zips in our downtown, so we’ve shined it up and we want you to come and support local businesses,” said Holifield.
For James Johnson-Hill at Agape Church, he’s seen just how far Laurel has come.
“We remember when we begged people to come downtown and now people are parking across the train tracks and walking almost six blocks to come to an event,” said Johnson-Hill.