Half-million each to city, county for road work

Published 7:43 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2018

State lawmakers on Wednesday adjourned for good in 2018, and they left the capital trailing gifts.

In passing Senate Bill 2002, legislators ended the special session by earmarking $111 million for projects across the state, and that amount includes $500,000 each for the City of Brookhaven and Lincoln County. The $1 million total is slated for road and street improvements, which local elected leaders are glad to have.

“I’m wanting to blacktop with it, I can tell you that right now,” said District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown. “After last winter, with the snow and ice and constant rain, it really worked on our roads. They were already at a point where they needed a lot of reseal, and they’re in critical shape now.”

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“I’ve been in contact with our legislators over the last few days while in special session,” said Mayor Joe Cox. “We are very grateful for their work and will put these funds to the best use possible for the citizens of Brookhaven.”

The $111 million total included $61 million in BP oil spill damages and $50 million lawmakers borrowed earlier in the session. Other projects in the area that received funding included $100,000 each for paving for Georgetown and Wesson, $450,000 for improvements to the Hwy. 84 frontage road in Monticello, $50,000 for paving in New Hebron, $3 million for wastewater and infrastructure for the Gateway Industrial park in Pike County, $500,000 for renovations to the police and fire stations in Magnolia and $150,000 for standing water pipe repairs in Summit.

The Legislature also set aside $280,000 for repairs and renovations to the historic Rodney Presbyterian Church in Jefferson County.

The remainder of the approximately $700 million in BP funds were appropriated to projects along the Gulf Coast.

Franklin County was one of only 19 counties that did not receive funding from the bill.

Wesson Mayor Alton Shaw said aldermen would soon meet to discuss where to lay down fresh asphalt in the town.

“We’re honored and excited to be included in this bill and we’ll make sure the money is well-utilized,” he said. “We’ll come together and look at it and probably erase some of our worst streets.”

District 92 Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, said the House and Senate leadership opened up the negotiations for distributing the money and took suggestions from lawmakers statewide.

“You just had to ask. I was glad to bring some money here,” she said. “We needed a little boost getting our roads done and, hopefully, this will help get some things going.”

District 39 Sen. Sally Doty, R-Brookhaven, said she was pleased to see some extra cashing flowing into Lincoln County.

“I worked closely with my House colleagues to get these amounts in the final bill, and I’m very happy with the result,” she said.