Capital city leaders allocate remaining ARPA funds to water crisis

Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 6:46 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - More money could be on the way to shore up Jackson’s crumbling water system. Jackson city leaders voted unanimously to allocate federal dollars not already spent to repairs and improvement to the crippling water system.

Thursday’s Special Jackson City Council meeting focused on using the money left from American Rescue Plan Act funds toward the water and sewer repairs.

“A bulk of it still could be allocated for infrastructure,” said Ward 7 Councilwoman Virgi Lindsay.

An estimated $27 million to $35 million in ARPA funds have not been used by the city. The state has been authorized to provide a 100 percent match on funds for repairs which could add up to as much as $70 million for improvements to the water and sewer systems.

“When we tell everyone of the importance that we’re asking for the dollars then we have to be able to say well it was so important that we didn’t do this, this, this, and this,” said Ward 5 Councilman Vernon Hartley.

In August Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann sent letters to the city and county strongly encouraging and requesting ARPA money be dedicated to remedying the water sewer crisis.

Governor Tate Reeves said his administration wants to work with the city to make sure that it prioritizes whatever funding it can to match dollar for dollar. Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes offered the motion.

“Whatever amount is available at this particular time we want to make sure we freeze our spending on other things and let’s get this match from the state, and let’s earmark this money for water and sewer crisis,” said Stokes.

With APRA funds going to water and sewer, projects like the Mid-Farish Soul City Market and a new Tisdale Library may be delayed.

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