County projects resulting in same results

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015

As I drove on Highland Parkway to Highway 43 N. to connect with Interstate 59, I realized we were sold a “bill of goods” as a “marketing ploy” by the developer, Andy Cooper.  This bypass that was sold to us as part of the development of the new Highland Hospital has yet to be completed.

This bypass was to be a quick route for ambulances driving from I-59 to the emergency room.

It was also being built to alleviate traffic for those of us traveling on Highway 11 to and from I-59.

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It has been several years since the hospital opened its doors. There was a recent flurry of activity on Highland Parkway when the very same developer, Andy Cooper, wanted the county to pass a TIF to allow him to use our hard earned Pearl River County tax dollars to develop a Walmart and its adjoining parking lot. The roadbed on Highland Parkway was obviously not prepared properly since the asphalt is buckling in many places, and there are also potholes. Since Mr. Cooper’s company got his TIF, the activity on this road has ceased.

This prompts me to ask several questions of our county / city leaders and decision makers.    Since we will eventually take over maintenance of this road, why haven’t city engineers been providing oversight?

Why did all of the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors, with one exception, Sandy Kane Smith, who voted “no,” vote “yes” for the TIF for the Walmart project when Mr. Cooper has not proven himself as a capable road builder? Will the new Walmart parking lot be unsafe due to buckling and potholes?

When will Highland Parkway be completed up to engineering standards for street development?

To quote a famous person, Albert Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”


Lucy Ruffino