The city of Meridian has been seeking a federal grant for about a year that would pay the majority of the cost for repairing and restoring Bonita Lakes Dam. The water was drained after a structural problem was found.
A $400,000 grant will pay the lion's share of the cost, according to city officials. The city council authorized the contract Monday. Bids will be received Jan. 18. The project is expected to cost around $500,000.
The first time the project was available for bids, none were submitted. Public Works Director Monty Jackson said he is confident it will be different this time. He said the lower lake will be restored to its former beauty.
"I think it's about a four month contract time on it, so the middle of the summer we should be through and letting water be put back into the lake," Jackson said.
However, that does not mean the former swimming area will reopen.
"The swimming area has been closed for a long time. The lowering of the lake didn't have anything to do with the swimming area, so the council will have to act on whether they open up the swimming area again," said Jackson.
Meridian's grant was one of nine issued to counties in Mississippi. Another for $250,000 went to Clarke County and the city of Quitman for de-snagging the Chickasawhay River.