Neighborhood Services Division
The mission of the Neighborhood Services Division is to facilitate a city-wide effort to promote the “livability” of Gautier neighborhoods by creating partnerships between neighbors, the City and other state-wide resources.
The Neighborhood Services Division is managed by Patty Huffman, Grants and Projects Manager, and is comprised of Joe Belles, Code Enforcement Officer. The Division operates within the Economic Development Department and works closely with all city departments.
Neighborhoods Services Goals
- Facilitate cooperation between residents, apartment owners, schools, businesses, religious organizations, non-profit agencies and City departments to improve and strengthen neighborhoods.
- Provide a “single point of contact” to assist residents in resolving neighborhood issues.
- Encourage residents to initiate neighborhood improvement projects and programs which stimulate further involvement in Gautier’s neighborhoods.
- Available to neighborhood-based organizations including registered neighborhood and homeowner associations, and other neighborhood groups.
- Geared to neighborhood-specific projects to motivate neighborhood residents to take on projects that will improve the neighborhood and community at large.
- Foster leadership within neighborhoods.
- Provide information and resources to residents, helping them become effective problem solvers.
- Encourage residents to become involved in the decision-making process.
Enhancing the “Quality of Life” in Neighborhoods
Enhancing our neighborhoods is a priority of the City of Gautier. Gautier’s neighborhoods are unique, ranging from waterfront estates to masterplanned bungalows, from homes that are “historic” built during the 19th century, to those constructed through the final years of the 20th century and today. Gautier’s neighborhoods are the fabric of the community and as such, are a critical asset for the City to protect, enhance and serve.
What Does Neighborhood Services Do?
The Mayor and Council established the Neighborhood Services Division Oct. 2010. In its 1st year, the Division has accomplished the following:
- WorldChangers. The City’s first annual housing/property rehab program. In just one week, 200 students from 11 states provided housing retrofits such as ramps for disabled neighbors, re-roofed, painted and repaired 14 homes, and also constructed an obstacle course playground for Singing River Elementary, a “welcome gazebo” for Home of Grace, and exterior painting for the Gautier Roll-A-Rama Roller Skating Rink.
- Neighborhood Improvement Plans. In its 1st year, the Division has assisted 3 neighborhoods with formulating objectives and establishing partnerships for improvement plans.
- City-wide Wayfinding Sign Program. In partnership with the Historic Preservation Commission, the purpose of the program is to market the City’s unique districts, historic landmarks, and tourist destinations.
- Indian Pow-Wow Festival. The June festival celebrated the City’s cultural heritage with a 3-day event geared for families and school-ages.
- Gateway Beautification. In the last year, the City has facilitated the removal of 23 unsafe structures and abandoned signs, with assistance from a grant by the Department of Environmental Quality.
Neighborhood Services facilitates the City’s interdepartmental efforts to improve the quality of life in Gautier neighborhoods by:
Serving as a “Single Point of Contact” For Gautier Residents
Neighborhood Services serves as a “single point of contact” for residents needing assistance from the City of Gautier. When residents are unsure of what city department can assist them with a particular neighborhood need, Neighborhood Services serves in an “ombudsman” role to ensure residents are connected with the correct city department.
Helping Neighborhoods Become Better Places To Live
Neighborhood Services assists neighborhoods by bringing together neighborhood stakeholders (residents, property owners, school officials, etc.) to identify ways to make their neighborhoods better places in which to live. Code Enforcement operates to protect the integrity and value of neighborhoods by bringing neglected and deteriorating properties into proper car and maintenance. To report a nuisance property or concern, contact Joe Belles, Code Enforcement Officer, at 228-497-1878 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the guidance of the Neighborhood Improvement Coordinator, neighborhoods may create and implement a neighborhood improvement action plan. Call 228-497-1878. Examples of actions that assist in improving the livability of neighborhoods include:
- Programs for the prevention of drug and crime.
- Housing rehabilitation programs for income-qualifying families.
- Writing and administering mini grants for improvements.
- Installation of curbs, gutters, and sidewalks.
- Installation of street lights.
- Construction of “traffic calming” devices, such as traffic signals, street cul-de-sacs, lane striping, and traffic signage.
- Installation of playground equipment.
- Creation of garden areas.
- Implementation of after-school programs.
- Implementation of neighborhood-wide clean-up campaigns.
Assisting Residents in Providing Input to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program
The City of Gautier applies annually for federal CDBG funds for the purpose of providing public improvements and services. Public input is integral to successful applications for CDBG awards.
Neighborhood Sign Program
Neighborhood signs are available to those who want to promote their neighborhood and project an attractive image of their neighborhood’s character and people. This is a mini-grant
program intended to spruce up, replace or create entrance signs for our various communities throughout Gautier.
Two different signs are avaible; one is a sandblasted multi-level sgn and the other is a fat MDO pywood sign. 4X4 and 4X6 Posts are available for installation of the signs.
For additional information contact the Economic Development Dept, Neighborhood Services Dept. 228-497-1878.