County road loan to be used as grant matchPublished 12:07am Saturday, August 11, 2012
NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors has approximately a dozen roads marked for paving with the $650,000 loan the supervisors voted to take out earlier this week.
The loan funds will be used as the match funds for a Community Development Block Grant the county has applied for, Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said.
“The money we are borrowing is to go toward this match, but we borrowed enough money so that if the state does not approve the grant we should still have enough money to do the roads,” Grennell said. “If we get the grant funded, we should have some residual money left where we can do additional roads in the county based on our four-year road plan.”
Even if the grant is not funded, the loan is earmarked for roads.
The grant the supervisors are applying for, which has a $600,000 maximum application, is an infrastructure grant, and Grennell said that if it is received it would be specifically for asphalting roads.
“The board unanimously agreed to do the maximum match, a 50-percent match,” Grennell said.
“The way it works is the higher the match the local government is putting toward the project, the greater the score, and it therefore increases our chances of getting the grant awarded.”
The county was awarded a similar grant three years ago, Grennell said, but the board declined to accept the grant because it did not have the money for the match budgeted.
“We turned around a year later and borrowed $2.4 million and ended up doing those roads anyway,” Grennell said.
Because the grant application requires that the money be used in areas that meet population requirements and have a majority of residents below a certain income level, the supervisors had to take to the streets they want to pave to get that information.
Grennell said he submitted Rand Road, Rand Acres Road and Azalea Road for the grant application and other roadwork.
“We walked the neighborhoods, we took out a survey out there to get an income base and find out how many people were in a household,” Supervisor Calvin Butler said.
Supervisor Angela Hutchins said the supervisors were required to gather this information from 80 percent of residents in the areas, and the feedback she got from the residents of the roads was that they were very open to seeing the overlay completed.
“(The roads) were in really bad condition,” she said. “They said they have been waiting on this for years.”
Butler said the roads marked in his district included Hobo Forks Road and White Oak Road; Hobo Forks is paved but in poor condition, and White Oak Road is only partially paved.
Hutchins said her submissions included Sandpiper Road — which is gravel — Pheasant Road and Southaven Road.
Supervisor Mike Lazarus said he submitted Lower Woodville Road between Hutchins Landing Road and the Sibley Post Office for the grant, but it was disqualified because of low population.
If the county receives the grant the extra money allocated to his district will be used to pave that portion of Lower Woodville Road, Lazarus said.
He also submitted Hope Lane for the grant application.
Lazarus said his standard for choosing which roads to submit was based on how much time and money the county was spending to fix it.
“If there is a road we do a lot of maintenance and time on, blacktopping the road doesn’t mask the expense of maintaining it, but it cuts down on it,” Lazarus said.
“I would rather blacktop it and be done with it and not have to come back for 10 years.”
Supervisor David Carter could not be reached for comment Friday.