Thursday, April 9, 2009
Local officials to attend Barbour’s budget meeting
By SUE WATSON
Members of the Mississippi Legislature and state agencies are waiting with bated breath for Gov. Haley Barbour’s planned stimulus package summit with state and local officials April 16 at the Convention Center in Jackson.
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors approved travel for the board or its representatives to attend the 2 p.m. meeting.
The Legislature and state agencies have opted to wait until May 4 or June 4 to finalize the 2009-10 fiscal year budget, pending whether Barbour will accept President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress’s federal economic stimulus package to the state, according to Gary Anderson, county consultant. Mississippi is due to receive between $2.5 billion and $2.8 billion through the stimulus.
“Governor Barbour has to indicate to the feds what he will accept in the stimulus package, so the Legislature wanted to wait to see what he does first before finishing the budget,” he said Monday to the board.
The governor is to take questions from the audience.
Bill Mobley, executive director of the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority, and Anderson told supervisors the stimulus money will all likely be incorporated into the budgets of state agencies to pay for ready-to-go projects like the Holly Springs Bypass Road and the Highway 72/Cayce Road sewer project.
Anderson said once the governor decides on accepting stimulus money, he (Anderson) expects the state agencies to move rapidly on putting that money to work.
He said the board “needs as much representation as it can get.”
“All departments will be presenting their plans and you will want to key in on the Mississippi Development Authority’s plan,” he said.
County administrator Larry Hall said no new agencies would be created but stimulus money would go to existing agencies and some to public safety.
“They have nailed down the amount of funds to go to the agencies and it’s not a big pie in the sky thing,” he said.
Some projects awaiting stimulus money locally include a sewer project set for a community at the intersection of Cayce Road and Highway 72 and the Holly Springs Bypass Road overlay project.
In other business Monday, the board of supervisors:
“I want people to know that we will start writing tickets to enforce the law,” he said.
The county will continue to improve the favorite fishing spot which is supplied with natural spring water and supervisors want to build a pier connected to the parking lot for use by the handicapped, he said.
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