Magee, M’Hall get funding

Thanks to Senator Chris Caughman and others, Simpson County will be receiving some much needed upgrades.

The cities of Magee and Mendenhall will each receive $250,000 to assist with ongoing projects. Caughman explained that before the recent session he spoke with Mayor Dale Berry of Magee and Mayor Todd Booth of Mendenhall to inquire about the needs of those cities. After some discussion each city created proposals requesting a $500,000 bond deal to be used on projects. Caughman said the deals had pretty much died during the session, but he was able to get the proposals into the DFA appropriation.

Caughman said he worked closely with Lt. Governor Tate Reeves to fight for the municipalities. He was instructed that he would only be able to get funding for one municipality and asked which he would prefer. Caughman said, “I said I would rather have both and just split each proposal in half. It worked out and it was pretty much what we thought we would get in the first place.” Caughman expressed thanks to the Lieutenant Governor and his staff for assisting in securing the funds.

During the April 2 meeting between the Mendenhall Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the board moved to use the $250,000 bond to assist with funding the frontage road, a project which began over four years ago.

Booth explained that the city did not intend to borrow a large sum of money but would instead slowly work to complete the project using city funds. The $250,000 bond has greatly sped up the timeline.

The board agreed to advertise for dirt work on the frontage in November 2018. Southern Rock LLC produced the lowest bid of an estimated $280,000. The board agreed to apply for a $280,000 loan during the April meeting to move forward with the project. Both said the $250,000 bond will be applied to the loan, and the city will only have to spend roughly $30,000 to advance the project.

The frontage road will run from the Highway 49 and Highway 13 intersection to East Street. Booth said this handles a big portion of the project and establishes the road bed for the next step. Booth said, “Senator Caughman helped a lot with the frontage road, and we want to give him credit and thank him on behalf of the city on his hard work.”

Mayor Dale Berry said Magee will be using their $250,000 to upgrade the city lagoon and sewer system. Berry said, “Chris went to bat the last day of the session and got it for us. It was something we really needed because we’re really growing.”

Caughman said he views this as a win for Simpson County as a whole.