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Two new bridges in work for Bogue Chitto Road

Lincoln County supervisors Monday awarded a $2.78 millioncontract for construction of two bridges on Bogue Chitto Road inDistrict 3.

“It’s a big, big project,” said Supervisor Nolan Earl Williamsonabout the new bridges to be built over the railroad in Bogue Chittoand over Beaver Creek.

Williamson said this will be the county’s third attempt tocomplete the project using federal bridge replacement funds. On twoearlier occasions, he said, transportation related funds werediverted to the country’s war efforts.

“Due to the money coming from the federal level, it was pulled,”Williamson said.

The $2.78 million bid awarded to Mid-South Construction, ofColumbia, was the lowest of four bids received. Two bids topped $3million.

However, the lowest bid was still approximately $180,000 overthe engineer’s estimate of $2.60 million.

Hugh Long, associate county engineer, said the bid was onlyabout 8 percent over the estimate and mentioned a project inanother county that was 40 percent over estimate. The constructionperiod, once all documents are signed, is 270 working days, Longsaid.

In other business Monday, Southwest Mississippi Planning andDevelopment District Director Wirt Peterson offered a dim view offunding assistance for transportation services in the county.Supervisors have heard two proposals during recent meetings fororganization to provide transportation services to senior citizensand others.

“Transportation in rural areas is a very expensive proposition,”Peterson said.

One difficulty, Peterson cited, is that the district’s budgetfor this year is already set. He said the district’s aging servicesare focused on serving those who are most in need, such asproviding meals to homebound residents.

Peterson also mentioned societal changes.

“Society has changed to the point transportation is not neededas much as it was before,” Peterson said.

Peterson, however, said he would get a cost estimate for servicefor the board to consider.

Peterson said a 17-passenger van would cost around$33,000-$38,000, with half that money coming from the state. Thereare also driver and vehicle maintenance costs to consider.

“I don’t see it happening any time soon,” Peterson said abouttransportation service assistance.

Peterson added that the county’s level of support would have to”increase dramatically” for transportation services to happen.

In budget matters, Lincoln County library director Henry Ledetupdated supervisors on library activities and its funding requestfor the new year.

“We are really, really excited about the library now,” Ledetsaid in discussing the facility’s completed renovation andexpansion. “It’s been more successful than we ever imagined itwould be.”

Ledet requested $180,000 from the county. That was the sameamount requested last year, but the library received $160,000.

“We feel like we really need that money,” Ledet said.

Ledet said the library has a wonderful staff, wonderful facilityand wonderful service.

“We just need a little more money to provide that service,”Ledet said.

Supervisors took the request under advisement. Library fundingand other issues will be addressed later when supervisors finalizethe budget for the new fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

In a library related matter, Dr. Russell Burns was re-appointedto serve another five-year term on the board of directors.