Tupelo eyes rainy day loan for road work

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

Rainy day funds could float road work in Tupelo if the city agrees to a proposal by the Major Thoroughfare Committee.
Committee Chairman Greg Pirkle asked the city for up to $6 million to proceed with three road projects while anticipating a cash flow shortfall. The group, which is funded by a 10-mill property tax levy, will reimburse the funds by the end of its current, five-year phase.
The Major Thoroughfare Program tax levy generates about $4 million annually.
Projects include the ongoing widening of South Gloster Street, the upcoming widening of East Main Street, and a construction of a bridge over the Natchez Trace Parkway to connect a new road in northwest Tupelo,
“The recommendation of thoroughfare committee is to allow us go ahead and let the contracts, use general fund money and reimburse it with thoroughfare money in 2014 or early 2015,” Pirkle said.
He added that the plan covers a worst-case scenario and that the committee might not have to borrow any money at all depending on how and when contractors submit bills.
Council members generally supported the idea but asked for more time to fully consider it and have input from municipal attorneys.
“We’ve got roads to nowhere out there right now,” said council President Fred Pitts. “We need this.”
emily.lecoz@journalinc.com