Can Byram-Clinton Parkway cash be used for other projects? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Can Byram-Clinton Parkway cash be used for other projects?

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HINDS COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The old argument against the Byram Clinton Parkway project is that it won't run through the city of Jackson. That's why former Mayor Harvey Johnson never supported it. But now, Hinds County District 5 Supervisor Kenneth Stokes says there's not enough cash to complete the business corridor, which will stretch at least 18 miles from Byram to The I-20/Norrell Road exit in Clinton.

At Monday's board meeting, he will propose taking $3.5 million in bond money from the project and put it toward road re-surfacing and recreational improvements for Utica and other small cities.

"I think their community center is in disrepair," Supervisor Stokes says of Utica. "We went out there for National Night Out, the young people said we don't have anything, any recreation whatsoever. You got to try to address these problems. That's how you combat crime," he says.

Supervisor Stokes say money can legally be taken from the Parkway allocation.

"This is money that they repurposed because it was a bond. Bond funds they were gonna use for the garage," he said, referring to a 2007 parking garage project for President and Congress Streets in Jackson that was never built.

Byram Mayor Richard White has been a supporter of the Parkway since his days as a state legislator. He does not believe the bond money can be touched. He also says there's federal money allocated for the Parkway that can't be used for other purposes.

"We're not gonna do that. We're gonna do the right thing," he said. "What it's gonna do for Hinds County is gonna be better than what it will do for Byram or Clinton."

"I think Hinds County Supervisors do a few things they're not supposed to do anyway," said White of Supervisor Stokes' plan. "I think that's about the worst thing I can say today."

Mayor White plans to meet with Supervisor Peggy Hobson-Calhoun next week to discuss the Parkway. 

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