Highland Parkway may open, one day.

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 21, 2016

It’s the shortcut that existed for too short a time, Highland Parkway.
Originally touted as an economic driver, the road was supposed to be the centerpiece to a walkable community. Today, it sits damaged and dormant; adorned with a “road closed” sign.
Now city and county officials are moving forward with a plan to finish the road, which provides much quicker access to Interstate 59 for motorists traveling down U.S. 11.
Tuesday, Picayune’s City Council approved several motions that will allow them to use a combination of left over grant funding from the Richardson Ozona Road relocation project, money from the city and county’s budgets, and a large chunk from the developer through Bank Plus, according to the agenda items.
It appears the city and county intend to get their money back, ideally through continued development of the area. But if development does not take place as expected, it could take up to five years to recoup the $100,000 each that the county and city will kick in to this project.
It’s great that the city and county have taken the reigns on this project to at least get the road completed. But concerns pop up on whether or not the city and county will be able to get their money back without putting themselves in a financial crunch.
We all like to think of government agencies as having an unlimited amount of funding, especially since we don’t see their financial figures on a daily basis like we do our own bank accounts. But the reality is they too work with limited funding, and have to budget accordingly.
Hopefully, that area will be as attractive to new businesses as it seems it could be, especially when the road is complete. That will allow development to resume, and those funds to be recouped sooner rather than later.

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