SuperTalk Mississippi

Road and bridge money may take time

Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc.

Roads and bridges in Mississippi will be seeing more funds, however, it may take a while. During the special session, legislators were able to allocate roughly $200M for roads and bridges in the state, but Mike Tagert, Highway Commissioner for Mississippi’s Northern District said that they won’t get the funds overnight.

“Some of the funds related to the special session are going to be very helpful, but they will take some time to accumulate, such as some sort of understanding and assessment related to the sports betting revenue, as well as, the lottery,” Tagert said. “Those are going to take some time to set up and to start accumulating those funds. Hopefully a year from now, that will be something that will be accessible for the maintenance fund.”

Tagert added that there is some other funding from the special session that will be more immediate.

“The emergency road and bridge repair fund, that’s $250 million of bonds issued immediately which we are working with our partners via the legislation, working with all the different industry groups to make sure that we get their input and that we are all on the same page hopefully,” Tagert said. “That is something that’s much more immediate and it will show an immediate improvement on the local and state level.”

In addition to the statewide funds, local governments will have access to 15% of the “use tax” to put toward infrastructure needs at the county and city level.

“It’s going to be phased in over the course of the next two, three, to four years and that’s going to really provide a sustainable funding mechanism for those local communities and local governments to fund their own infrastructure needs, so that is going to really strengthen the entire government statewide,” Tagert said.

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