Lamar Co. to conduct $7M worth of road repairs

By HASKEL BURNS,

The issuance of no more than $7 million in bonds will pave the way for the repair of many well-traveled roads throughout Lamar County.

The measure was approved last Thursday by the Lamar County Supervisors when board members voted to approve the hiring of law firm Butler Snow in connection with the issuance of the bonds.

“The funding to pay that bond is going to come from the recently-passed infrastructure bill that will bring probably an additional $700,000 or $800,000 a year into Lamar County for us to improve roads,” Lamar County Administrator Jody Waits said. “So the board is wanting to speed up the process of building and repairing roads, and there’s several major projects on the board. So this will help us get that going much quicker.”

Some of the projects expected to be prioritized in the work include the Lincoln Road Phase II project, along with improving intersections along Oak Grove Road, Old Highway 11 and Mississippi 589. The total cost of those projects is estimated at between $6 million and $7 million.

“The board will take action at the next meeting or two, as to actually go borrow the money,” Waits said. “At that point, that speeds the process along, and it could be conceivable that money would be available in 60 to 90 days for us to begin those projects.

“It is a lot of work. We’re going to have to have it completed within three years, so we would say the length of the projects would probably be two to three years.”

The Mississippi Infrastructure Modernization Act – formally known as House Bill 1 – was passed by the Mississippi Legislature in a special session last year. The bill includes a diversion of use tax for local infrastructure improvement, with a growing percentage year over year through year four.

Under House Bill 1, $3 million will be divided between each of Mississippi’s 300 cities, with each municipality receiving $10,000. The remainder will be divided based on proportion of population.

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