Meridian paving bond issue still in the works

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 12:39 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - There’s still no ultimate resolution on the City of Meridian’s bond paving issue. The topic was once again on the agenda for Tuesday’s city council work session.

“My concern is having a program that meets the maintenance needs of our infrastructure. I would like to see that funding is set aside to meet that objective,” says City of Meridian Public Works Director, Hugh Smith.

Last month, City Council decided to move forward with plans for the issuance of up to $12 million in bonds for paving and infrastructure. The proposed funds would go towards street paving, traffic light upgrades, and other road repairs.

Internet sales tax proceeds will be used to pay debt service on the bonds. Meridian has already received half of approximately $336,000 expected to come from that tax this year. Smith says the other half could come in October.

So what’s been the hold up on the overall vote?

Council President Kim Houston says the council wants to make sure the city doesn’t make the same mistake twice.

“A few years ago we passed a bond that was supposed to be a paving program which was suppose to provide ongoing paving within the city of Meridian. Because of budget concerns and things of that nature, that program exists, we have the equipment, we have all of that, but we have not been funding the program for it to be an ongoing deal. So the concerns we have moving forward with this one is we don’t want to do another bond and then end up in a place where nothing’s happening,” says Houston.

She says the council is discussing a plan that suggests the city set aside a million dollars for paving at the end of the year so the proposed program can be sustained.

A final decision could be made after the next work session scheduled for July 23rd.

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