County, City personnel team up on trip to Washington, D.C.

Published 11:36 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pearl River County and City of Picayune officials pooled their efforts to secure funding for several projects from Congress.

The trip to Washington, D.C., taken on Feb. 26 through 28, was an effort to form relationships with personnel in senators’ and representatives’ offices.

“If you don’t create those relationships, nothing happens,” Utility Authority board member Steve Lawler said.

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County Administrator Adrian Lumpkin, county board members Patrick Lee, Sandy Kane Smith, Hudson Holliday; Council members Leavern Guy, Larry Watkins and Jerry Bounds, and Lawler all pooled their efforts to form those relationships and request funds for a variety of projects.

Some of the projects included construction of a county lake, an interchange and service road at Anchor Lake, extension of Ridge Road, further work to Memorial Boulevard, improvements to the city’s technology park and airport and sewer and water projects.

Lumpkin said the trip was one of the better trips he has taken to Washington DC. Lee also felt good about the conversations they had with the congressmen and senators as they pitched their ideas. Lee said Rep. Gene Taylor’s office seemed very receptive of the Anchor Lake service road project, which will build a road along Interstate 59 between Anchor Lake Road and Union School Road.

“You can just tell we’re getting a warmer welcome every time we go,” Lee said.

Smith said the discussion on the lake project in Millard appeared to go well. He said he believes some of the proposed projects will receive money from the stimulus package enacted by President Barrack Obama. Smith said he is confident the Anchor Lake Road interchange off of Interstate 59 will receive some funding.

The interchange is proposed to take congestion off of U.S. 11, according to the presentation material. The proposed service road will provide the Pearl River County School District with the access it will need to possibly build a new elementary school.

The fact that the county and city officials went together also displayed togetherness, which Sen. Roger Wicker was pleased to see, Smith said.

Extension of Ridge Road was proposed to give better access to the airport and the adjacent technology park. Bounds said the discussions held in Washington about the project were positive. The city also asked for some funds to help repair some aging infrastructure, such as water, sewer and gas lines.

With a number of septic tanks in Hide-A-Way Lake that are getting up in years, a sewer system for the residential area was presented as well. The project will work to install grinder pumps in place of septic tanks and build a low pressure treatment system. Lawler said there also were requests presented to conduct work at Hillsdale and former Dixie Utilities.