SEC. 59-1-17. Jurisdiction of commission; reclamation, use and disposition of lands subjec to commission jurisdiction generally; leasing and subleasing of certain submerged lands and tidelands owned by state.
(1) The several port commissions in the State of Mississippi are each hereby vested with full jurisdiction and control of any and all lands lying within, or adjacent to, any river, bay or natural lake which are now, or heretofore were, below the mean high tide mark, and which lands lie within or adjacent to any port or harbor within the jurisdiction of such port commission, and as to which lands the claims of private persons or private corporations have been, or hereinafter are, acquired by such port commission, or by the city for its benefit, by purchase, lease, conveyance or eminent domain proceedings. Any such port commission is hereby authorized to reclaim any and all such lands, by filling, dredging or other methods and to utilize, lease or dispose of same for the development and operation of the port to the same extent it is now, or may hereinafter be, authorized to utilize its other facilities.
(2) It is hereby declared that the leasing or use for commercial purposes, port purposes and for industrial development related thereto of the following described submerged lands and tidelands belonging to the State of Mississippi in an area lying between the East Pascagoula River and the West Pascagoula River, Jackson County, Mississippi, will serve a higher public interest in accordance with the purposes of this section and with the public policy of this state as set forth in Section 49-27-3, said property being more particularly described as follows:
All that part of the Lowry Island Resurvey, which is bounded on the South by the L & N (now CSX) Railroad Track; on the East by the East Pascagoula River; on the West by the West Pascagoula River; and on the North by the North corporate limits of the City of Pascagoula and the South corporate limits of the City of Moss Point, LESS AND EXCEPT, however, that part of said property now owned by any private corporations.
(3) The city port commission of the city in which such state lands are located and the governing authority thereof, jointly, are hereby authorized to apply for and secure a lease in accordance with Section 29-1-107, except for a period of time not to exceed forty (40) years, of such state lands as may be necessary for the development for commercial purposes, port purposes and related industrial facilities in the aforesaid areas described in subsection (2) hereof.
Application for a lease shall be made with the Secretary of State.
Utilization of any and all submerged land and/or tideland shall be in such a manner so as not to obstruct normal navigation of any normal and natural channel. Title to the property shall remain vested in the State of Mississippi.
All oil, gas and other minerals in, on or under said lands leased are hereby specifically reserved unto the State of Mississippi.
The city port commission and city governing authority, jointly, are hereby authorized to sublease such lands for commercial purposes, port purposes and for industrial development related thereto.
All subleases executed by the city port commission and city governing authority shall be on such terms and conditions, and with such safeguards, as will best promote and protect the public interest. Such subleases shall be submitted to the Secretary of State for approval. Each sublease shall provide that if such property is not utilized within five (5) years, or if commercial, port or industrial usage ceases and such termination continues for a period of two (2) years, the sublease shall terminate and all rights thereunder shall revert to the city and port commission. If such nonutilization for a period of five (5) years or cessation of use for a period of two (2) years shall be caused, suspended, delayed or interrupted by act of God, fire, war, rebellion, scarcity of water, insurrection, riot, strike, scarcity of labor, differences with employees, failure of a carrier to transport or furnish facilities for transportation; or as a result of some order, rule or regulation of any federal, state, municipality or other governmental agency; or as the result of failure of the sublessee to obtain any required permit or certificate; or as the result of any cause whatsoever beyond the control of sublessee, the time of such delay or interruption shall not be counted against the sublessee in determining such period of five (5) years or two (2) years. All subleases shall be for a fair and adequate consideration and the compensation and revenues therefrom shall be retained by the state.
(4) This section is to be considered as supplementary and cumulative and nothing in this section shall be construed as repealing or amending any options, leases, deeds, contracts, agreements or legal instruments heretofore entered into by the governing authorities of the municipality in which the port of entry is located, or the port commission.
SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 7549.7-01; Laws, 1950, ch. 450, Sec. 1; 1988, ch. 336, eff from and after passage (approved April 15, 1988).