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City awarded grant for erosion control measures

Brookhaven was approved for a $665,000 grant to install erosioncontrol measures along the Bogue Chitto River’s Guy Lee Branchbetween Halbert Heights Road and Brookway Boulevard. The city willneed to match the funds with approximately $100,000, said Mayor BobMassengill.

“We had a tremendous number of trees down in that drainagearea,” Massengill said about fallen trees during the 2005hurricane.

As a result, Massengill said, the downed trees altered the flowof the branch and now cause water to back up to Brookway Boulevardduring periods of heavy rain. With the funding, officials hope tobe able to install riprap from the bridge on Halbert Heights Roadup to the boulevard.

“The engineer’s feeling is this should eliminate (problems withwater backing up),” the mayor said.

Massengill said officials hope to start the project by mid- tolate-summer.

Overall Tuesday, more than $41 million in disaster recoverygrants was announced for projects in 39 Mississippi counties andcities. The announcement was made by Gov. Haley Barbour and theMississippi Development Authority.

”This funding will help key communities in south and centralMississippi rebuild vital public facilities which were damaged” byHurricane Katrina, Barbour said in a statement.

The money came from Mississippi’s $5.48 billion federal Katrinarecovery package.

Grants announced Tuesday to area communities included:

* Magnolia – downtown revitalization/streetscape repair andimprovements – $633,949.

* Magnolia – repair and improvements to elevated water tank -$344,500.

* McComb – construction of elevated water tank – $2 million.

* Osyka – restoration and repair and Town Hall – $260,000.

* Summit – downtown revitalization/streetscape repair andimprovements – $1 million.

* Wesson – debris removal and drainage improvements -$202,500.

* Wesson – Sewer system repair and improvements – $209,500.

MDA executive director Gray Swoope said the agency worked withthe cities and counties to make sure their projects would qualifyfor the money.

Each of the projects are in the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of2005, or GO Zone. The GO Zone contains a variety of tax breaksdesigned to stimulate construction in Mississippi, Louisiana andAlabama.

Swoope said of $5.48 billion approved for Mississippi, more than$2.3 billion was appropriated specifically for communityrevitalization projects.