Madison County residents plan to protest at supervisors meeting - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Madison County residents plan to protest at supervisors meeting

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

MADISON COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Tempers are flaring in Madison County and a protest is planned for Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.  Some residents believe money has been wasted and mishandled on recent road projects and they want answers.

More than $4.7 million was spent on the Reunion Parkway Interchange that no longer exists.  Two weeks ago the Madison County Board of Supervisors refused to sign an agreement that would allow MDOT to oversee the project's construction.  Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall said the county just didn't have the money.

"They finally tried everything they could try. They turned down MDOT and said it is MDOT's fault. Well, if they think anyone is dumb enough to believe that they can keep saying it," said Hall.

Madison County residents want to know what happened with that nearly $5 million.  Some of it was spent on attorneys and consultants, but the majority ended up in the hands of county engineer Rudy Warnock & Associates, LLC. 

Where is the nearly $22 million of remaining bond money going to go?  It is slated to be spent on ten road projects.  The largest receiving $11 million is Calhoun Station Parkway, an area that sees little traffic.

Supervisor D. I. Smith said some projects are not receiving a dime.  He references Lake Harbour Drive in Ridgeland.  Smith said $1.9 million was promised to the city, but now no many is being allocated toward the project.

"A list was put together by the county engineer with input from three of the supervisors.  Two of the supervisors did not have any input on that.  I did not see the road plan until just moment before it was voted on by the board of supervisors two weeks ago," said Smith.

Smith called for an audit of engineering services by an outside party eight months ago.  Hall agreed.

"Money has been wasted and anytime people in elected positions waste money then certainly the people should demand some kind of answer," said Hall. 

Mary McLaurin, who is organizing the protest, said in a phone interview buses will be available after the supervisors meeting to anyone who wants to tour what she calls "the Madison County roads to no where."

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