County pursues TIGER grant for bridges

Published 12:27 am Tuesday, October 3, 2017

NATCHEZ — For the second straight year, Adams and Wilkinson county supervisors plan to pursue a federal grant that could potentially lead to up to $18 million in bridge and road work for the area.

The two counties are looking at a total of 33 bridges that are in need of repair or replacing and will pursue $16 million to $18 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER Discretionary Grant program. Adams County would be the lead applicant.

Last year the counties asked for more than $20 million, Adams County Board of Supervisors President Mike Lazarus said.

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Lazarus said to his understanding the application was well received last year and the county was encouraged to resubmit.

The county voted unanimously to resubmit the application. The application is due Oct. 16.

Supervisors also voted to allow Lazarus and Board Attorney Scott Slover to travel to Washington, D.C., to lobby for funding.

“We are going to come back with the TIGER grant,” Lazarus said. “I will put my track record up there. I come back with money most of the time.”

Lazarus said they would depart for Washington, D.C., Oct. 9.

Lazarus said he would meet with people in the offices of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss), U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss), U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss) and the secretary of the department of transportation.

“There are a lot of people applying, but we have a lot of bridges out in Adams and Wilkinson counties,” Lazarus said. “All these bridges are vital to different industries. It is really hurting us as far as economic development. If you can’t get around in the county, it is tough.”

Lazarus said the TIGER grant would not be the only topic of discussion. Lazarus said he would also ask for consideration for I-14, a proposed interstate from El Paso, Texas, to Savannah, Ga., which would likely follow the U.S. 84 corridor and come through Adams County, and attempt to receive more money to finish the levee on the Belwood industrial site near the port.