Governor Phil Bryant presented officials with the city of Meridian a check today for $2.7 million dollars. That's grant money from the Mississippi Development Authority that will be used to fix drainage and infrastructure problems in downtown Meridian.
"One of the things that we looked at is making sure that we're protecting our investment,' says Governor Bryant. 'Mississippi State University for example has put millions upon millions of dollars in here in downtown Meridian.'
Because the pipe system in downtown is decades old, city officials say many have deteriorated. In turn, this causes water to often back up and flood, or nearly flood, the bottom floor of some buildings.
'This grant is so good because we are continuing the investment in our community with the governor's help,' says Mayor Cheri Barry.
The grant money awarded to the city on this day will be used to primarily fix drainage and infrastructure problems within a one block radius of MSU Meridian's Business School in downtown.
'If we don't have the infrastructure, the simple water and sewer system, the roads to support the demand of that university for the people that'll be coming in, then it'll go away,' says Governor Bryant.
With the money in place, city officials say the next step is determining what specific work needs to be done to fix the problems. Once that is known and the work starts they estimate that it will take anywhere from 9 months to one year to complete the project.