MDOT Band-Aid fix doesn’t solve problem

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 1, 2000

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove should be happy. The Mississippi governor got most of what he wanted in a recent special session aimed at revamping economic development in the state, including the renaming and refocusing of the Mississippi Development Authority (formerly the Mississippi Department of Economic and Community Development.)

We presume that Musgove’s happiness led the governor finally to address an issue that we hoped he would have dealt with before now — funding for the financially strapped Mississippi Department of Transportation.

On Thursday, Musgrove announced plans to allow MDOT to borrow millions of dollars in order to keep construction moving through January, when the Legislature meets in regular session.

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But the move is only a temporary fix. While his plan settles the issue for the next month or two, the issue will again rear its head next January.

In a recent editorial board meeting with The Democrat, Musgrove hinted that MDOT’s funding problems stem from mismanagement. If this is the case, then why not address the problem rather than patching it by throwing more money at it?

Musgrove’s Band-Aid fix is akin to filling a pothole with sand. The road is drivable until it rains or until enough cars pass over it.

The issue of funding for our state’s highway department needs to be addressed. And for communities such as ours which feel economically challenged due to a lack of four-lane highways, the issue needs to be addressed quickly.