Lamar supes want fair share of road, bridge money





The current Lamar County Board of Supervisors is grateful that previous boards saw the need for sturdy bridges. However, the five men don’t want the county to penalized by the state Legislature for doing the right thing.

Lamar County is one of only two counties in the state where bridges were built without wood pylons or bases. If the legislative formula for distributing funds goes only to counties that need help in bridge renovations, Lamar County is likely to be overlooked.

Therefore, supervisors don’t want to be shortchanged because previous administrations were diligent in construction of the county’s roads and bridges.

At Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting at the William J. “Pete” Gamble III Chancery Courthouse in Purvis, the board approved a resolution asking the Legislature to divert new revenue to counties for the repair, replacement and maintenance of country roads and bridges. With the possibility of a special session looming, supervisors want the distribution of the funds to be equitable.

“I just don’t think we should be penalized for doing a good job the last 25 years, and everyone else gets their bridges taken care of,” Chancery Clerk Wayne Smith said. “(It should say) as long as it is given to all counties equally and as long as we’re not left out because we are in compliance.”

Board President Joe Bounds said board members have talked with legislators about the county’s situation. District 1 Supervisor Steve Lampton praised the foresight of previous boards.

“We have reaped the benefits of what prior boards have done for this county and stepped up when they needed to step up,” he said. “We also have infrastructure needs that need to be met, and that’s where this money can certainly benefit the county.”

Board Attorney Perry Phillips discussed the sample resolution provided by the Mississippi Association of Supervisors and suggested additions.

“If we want more emphasis on roads, then maybe we can put in there ‘as long as it is all equal to all counties, the money can be used for roads or bridges at the county’s discretion,” he said.