Blue ribbon trip pays dividends

Lobbying for support of flood control measures and wastewater projects has paid off for the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors and constituents they represent.

Supervisors who traveled to Washington in the spring were rewarded for their efforts, staff spokespersons for U.S. lawmakers disclosed in a series of press releases issued on Tuesday.

The Senate offices of U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith issued press releases Tuesday to announce that an additional $55.9 million has been allocated to support wastewater infrastructure, flood control and other projects.

The delegation consisted of the Board of Supervisors, city mayors, Alderman, DCRUA, and members of the DeSoto County Economic Development Council.

Supervisors Lee Caldwell and Mark Gardner are on the Stormwater Committee that has teamed up with Horn Lake Mayor Allen Latimer, Tracy Huffman of Waggoner Engineering, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers headquartered in Memphis to come up with a plan to help alleviate flooding and stormwater runoff in north DeSoto County.

"We are so grateful to have good friends in Washington D.C. that listen to the needs of our local people and are willing to roll up their sleeves and work with us to help improve safety and quality of life for the citizens of DeSoto County," Caldwell said.

“These projects in the Army Corps work plan demonstrate the far-reaching impact of the Mississippi River and Tributaries project as a vehicle for critical water and port infrastructure investment,” Wicker said. “The additional investments in water and wastewater infrastructure will pay dividends for Mississippi’s communities.”

“Mississippians will see benefits from the Army Corps of Engineers decision to apply additional funding to water, wastewater and other infrastructure programs in our state,” Hyde-Smith said. “I credit the Army Corps for identifying priority projects that have local support and can help improve public safety and the quality of life in Mississippi.”

Of significance, newly-allocated funds in the 2018 Work Plan will provide $3.6 million in construction funds to support the DeSoto County Regional Utility Authority wastewater facility and $1.5 million for a storm water management study for northern DeSoto County.

The Army Corps will also use $45.3 million to invest in Mississippi River and its tributaries, which include the Coldwater River.

The $1.5 million is included for a North Desoto County storm water management study.

"We have been working on this project for several years," Caldwell said.

A total of $5.1 million has been allocated for improvements at Arkabutla Lake.

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at rlong@desototimestribune.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

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