Erosion gets Corps attention

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 17, 2000

MONTICELLO — Pearl River erosion and other concerns prompted4th Congressional District Congressman Ronnie Shows and members ofthe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to tour Lawrence CountyMonday.

Shows met briefly with the county Board of Supervisors duringtheir regularly scheduled meeting to advise them of his visit andintroduce them to Col. Robert Crear, commander of the VicksburgDistrict of the Corps.

The congressman told supervisors he wanted to show Crear theimpact of the Pearl River erosion, which is undermining the bankbeneath the county library and other areas.

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Shows and Crear said they would also visit Walthall and Marioncounties Monday.

Crear also took the opportunity to inform supervisors of a newprogram offered by the Corps that was approved by congress lastyear.

The Corps commander said many municipalities that cannotparticipate in needed projects because they can’t afford the cost,share requirements of working with the Corps. In addition, manyprojects require lengthy studies to be completed before work canbegin, and municipalities often need the work done immediately.

The new program, he said, is an attempt to help the Corpsrespond to the needs of municipalities. Under the new program,which is geared toward waste water treatment, no studies are neededand the cost share is reduced to 75 percent federal aid and 25percent local tax money.

Monticello Mayor David Nichols spoke with Crear after themeeting to set up a time to discuss the program in depth.Monticello is developing a waste water treatment project which mayfall within the guidelines of the new program.

Shows also brought some good unrelated news to thesupervisors.

“It looks like we got the money for the bridge on Highway 44,”Shows said. “I don’t have any specifics yet, but it looksgood.”

The Highway 44 bridge project, which would cross the PearlRiver, is one supervisors have been working on for quite some time.Currently, residents must travel to Monticello or Columbia to crossthe river. This would also decrease emergency response time in thatarea of the county.

Shows told the supervisors he would let them know more when hereceived all the information.

A federal transportation bill approved last week by Congressincluded $5 million for engineering and environmental studies.