Cities expect to feel impact of no infrastructure bill passing a - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Cities expect to feel impact of no infrastructure bill passing at the Capitol

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Lawmakers couldn't come to an agreement on new infrastructure money this year. Its an issue that you may see the direct impacts of because your local leaders say that will put their budget in an even tighter spot.

The state lawmakers wrapped up the legislative session this week. And while they may be gone from the Capitol, the calls from citizens worried about roads and bridges are still ramping up at the local level. 

"We were sitting, just waiting, thinking this is the year that it's going to happen," said Crystal Springs Mayor Sally Garland.

Garland said there were two options pending at the State Capitol this year that would've brought in a new cash flow for infrastructure needs.

"It's sales tax," explained Garland. "It's use tax. That's generated inside cities. We're not asking for any more than what we generate. And like I said before, every mayor I know is a sales tax warrior. We're going after it. We're going to make you more."

Early in the session, local leaders had asked that the sales tax diversion to be increased from 18.5 to 20.5 percent as it was back in the 90's. Infrastructure issues impact every size city. But tightening the belt on a small city with a growing repair list is especially tough.

"$3 million budget," noted Garland. "We have $7240.50 in our street repair budget. That's what a small city has."

Because of that, many of them have to seek out grants or partner with the county to get things done. It's the same story but with an even smaller pot of money in D'Lo.

Local leaders were at the state capital at the start of the session asking for a bigger piece of the pie from sales tax collection. They'd like the diversion to be increased from 18.5 to 20.5 percent.

"I'm hopefully going to get together with county and pave at least two streets in town with the money we have in reserves," said D'Lo Mayor John Henry Berry. "About 20-grand but after that, it's gone, we're done till it builds back up. But it may take 15-20 years for that to build up."

Crumbling bridges are adding to the questions marks of how they'll fund all the necessary needs.

"We're not talking 5 to 700 feet," he said. "Can't go very far without any extra money. I hope we can all get together and do something about it because I sure don't want to go back to gravel roads."

Leaders in the House and Senate say they'll continue to work on possible infrastructure solutions and go back to the drawing board next legislative session.

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