Motion to acknowledge MDOT funding fails for lack of a second

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Board: Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison discusses departmental business with the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors during Monday's meeting. Photo by Jeremy Pittari

Board: Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison discusses departmental business with the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors during Monday’s meeting.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

Construction of a service road from West Union Road to Anchor Lake Road will most likely not take place. 

During Monday’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting County Engineer Les Dungan told the board that he received a call from the Mississippi Department of Transportation checking on whether the board acknowledged receipt of Statewide Transportation Improvement Program funding.

Dungan said the representative advised him that time is short, and providing MDOT with acknowledgement would lock in $1.9 million in funding for five years that would allow the county to conduct preliminary work to build the service road. The funding would have allowed the county to conduct the planning stage and purchase right of ways.

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Board president Patrick Lee said acknowledging the funding did not mean the project would definitely happen, but would allow the county to take steps for the future.

The work could provide the Pearl River County school district with a route to 16th section land in the area, allowing them to potentially build a new school. Lee said without the service road, the district would be forced to use Reese Road as access to the property and funding the work would fall on local taxpayers.

Board member Michelle Carr made a motion to acknowledge the funds, but that motion died for a lack of a second by board members Sandy Kane Smith and Dennis Dedeaux. Board member Anthony Hales was absent.

“That project’s dead,” Lee said after the motion died.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said while he is unsure of the exact deadline, if the county does not acknowledge those funds the money will go back to MDOT who will determine where it will go.

“And you can bet it won’t be Pearl River County,” Lumpkin said.

Lee said he was in favor of moving forward with the project.

Preliminary work on the Richardson Ozona Road improvement project has been ongoing for the past two to three months. Dungan said wetland mitigation costs are more expensive than expected, so the county will have to access the remainder of the $2.5 million in Economic Development Highway grant funds available for the project. Dungan said any balance in that funding once the project is complete would roll back into the U.S. 11 improvement project.

Work to resurface Rock Ranch and McNeill Steephollow Roads should start late next week. Dungan said all of the leveling patches installed have cured, so resurfacing should begin late next week and be complete by the middle of next month.

Dungan also reminded the board that Dungan Engineering is holding a retirement ceremony for Larry Seal, who has been providing engineering services to the county for more than 50 years. Lumpkin said Seal was the county engineer in the past.

The next board meeting will be held at 9 a.m. July 7.