Major Thoroughfare gets by on tax funds

PIRKLE

PIRKLE

By Joe Rutherford

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tax revenue designated for the Major Thoroughfare Program’s construction projects has been strong enough that the program has not needed to borrow money from Tupelo’s rainy-day fund, the thoroughfare committee was told at its meeting this week.

The City Council voted 6-1 in July to allow the program to borrow reserve funds if it runs short of cash when several projects are under construction, but chairman Greg Pirkle said Tuesday tax revenues have been sufficient to pay program costs.

Pirkle said in July that it’s possible the committee won’t need any rainy-day money. But it could need as much as about $4.3 million, and projections show no borrowing will be needed until September.

Pirkle said the committee learned Monday the bridge crossing the Natchez Trace Parkway, an element of the Coley Road Extended connector, is on schedule to be completed by June or July; however, the project has used 85 percent of the allocated time to complete 75 percent of the work.

Pirkle said contractors hope to make up time with better weather.

Other business included:

• Discussion of the East Main Street project, which is moving slowly; work is scheduled to start in late summer.

• A study group for the next MTP phase will meet soon, but no firm date has been set.

All borrowed funds will be paid back as the committee collects its annual allocation from a 10-mill property tax set aside for its use.

The tax generates about $4 million per year.

joe.rutherford@journalinc.com