Thursday, December 14, 2006
Supervisors discuss possible funding needs from legislature
By SUE WATSON
Bill Renick, director of the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority, and consultant Gary Anderson discussed strategies to get state or federal dollars from the Mississippi Department of Transportation to build railroad overpasses at Byhalia and Potts Camp.
Renick reminded the board of supervisors that prior discussions at the Planning Commission centered around trying to get money from a mayor’s fund through special state legislative mechanisms.
Anderson said a source of dollars is needed to do traffic studies MDOT would need in order to earmark a fund for the project.
“It’s a case of deciding if we could pay for a study,” Renick said, adding that a traffic expert and former MDOT employee now in private practice in Tupelo could give good counsel on such a study.
“He is very, very well connected and thought of by MDOT,” Renick said.
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett asked if IDA could help with arrangements for a traffic study then motioned to authorize IDA to do so. The motion passed unanimously.
“We really have to have our ducks in a row to do this if we can show the need is there and this (election year) is the year to put it (our request) in.”
Anderson urged the board to move quickly with any bills it wants brought before the legislature this session.
“Ideally, budgets are already fixed - the governor’s and the legislature’s,” he said.
The legislature has until December 15 to submit its budget requests to the general public, he said.
“Commissioner (Bill) Minor is looking to us to provide justification to help the county with earmarking, so the sooner we get information, the closer we can work with our commissioner (MDOT) to earmark this money.”
He added that deputy MDA director Gray Swoope, who is expected to take over the reins from Leland Speed, is very familiar with the needs in North Mississippi counties.
Larry Hall, county administrator/road manager, asked if there is any possibility of getting a bill through the Mississippi Caucus of Black Mayors bond allocation.
“It’s a shot in the dark,” said Anderson. “I wouldn’t bet on it.”
He said the legislature is working this month on putting dollars into the fund for local projects.
Hall said he thought dollars might be available through the black mayors’ caucus to funnel through the City of Holly Springs for the library expansion proposal.
Chancery clerk Chuck Thomas submitted $593,750 in claims for approval, read from a letter of thanks sent to the board from New Hope Village, and read a request to the board for a pauper’s funeral.
Hall advised the board he had sold a small fleet of dump trucks under a buyback agreement with an auction company.
He asked the board to authorize the replacement of a heat pump at the library.
The board approved a request from Hall to purchase storm windows for the Marshall County School District office building to help curtail wintery drafts.
Hall announced that construction of the spillway at Duck Pond is finished.
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