Trips Pay Off, Official Says

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According to the president of the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, it took numerous trips by county, city and housing officials to secure the $17.3 million grant.

"I use the term 'if you don't go, you won't know' and I think it's important that all elected officials travel outside the box," said Jow Norwood, who represents District 4. "The money is in Washington. No one is going to come from Washington to Meridian, Lauderdale County, say 'I got 17 and a half million dollars.' So we had to put together a delegation to go to Washington to request those funds. We did that and we were successful with that yesterday and we're excited about it."

Norwood said there is more federal money available and he thinks Lauderdale County should ask for it.

"There's another $50 million sitting there for this year and I informed that group yesterday we should put together another delegation go ask for some of that $50 million. The person who gets that $50 million will be the ones who go to Washington and asks for it. So I'm for going back to Washington next week, if necessary, to ask for a portion of that $50 million dollars that was appropriated for the year of 2004. That money was for 2003," Norwood said.

The grant announced Wednesday will build 113 public housing units, as well as 74 affordable rental units, 15-market rate rental units and 40 home ownership units, for a total of 242. They will be built at the former site of Victory Village, 45th Avenue and 5th Street in Meridian.