Take time to consider lake project

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2016

While we agree that the Millard lake project would bring in a welcome economic boost to Pearl River County, we hope that our supervisors will do as they said Wednesday and carefully consider the proposal presented by representatives with the Pat Harrison Waterway District.
If you take a look at their website, www.phwd.net, you will find pictures and descriptions of the amenities they are responsible for constructing at the eight parks they manage throughout the state.
Their parks feature camping sites, cabins, water slides and boat launches. These are some of the things tourists look for when searching for a vacation spot, which would bring more revenue and visitors to our beautiful county.
However, before plans are drafted, there are many concerns to consider.
There are environmental and economic impact studies that need to be completed to make sure this location would be the most beneficial.
The concerns most county taxpayers will have with such a project will not focus on the long-term benefits, but rather a short-term question, “How is the county going to pay for this project?”
According to a rough calculation, supervisors estimate it will cost about $275,000 per year to join the Pat Harrison Waterway District. Their payment per year to the Pearl River Basin is $75,000. The project itself may cost between $30 million and $40 million.
However, representatives with Pat Harrison are confident that they can secure some grant funding to ensure this project becomes a reality.
As with any business venture, large sums of money must be presented upfront and it may take years before the benefits are reaped, which is something representatives with Pat Harrison assured the board will happen through work projects.
We have entrusted the board of supervisors with our tax dollars and hope they will remain good stewards and make an informed decision.

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