By Rod Guajardo
TUPELO – The city is hoping to make a dent in a $21 million water and sewer project by securing $600,000 in grant funding through a state grant program.
At a City Council agenda review session Monday afternoon, grant administrator Terri Blissard informed the council of plans to apply for a Community Development Block Grant through the Mississippi Development Authority. The grant program is available through MDA to fund publicly owned infrastructure.
The $600,000 in grant funding would be put toward the installation of sewer lines in a section of the recently annexed area near the Chesterville ball field in west Tupelo.
Some 2,500 new residents from six different areas officially entered the city of Tupelo following the 2012 annexation. Those new residents were provided with some city services, such as police, fire and code protection, immediately following the annexation. Water and sewer services, however, are still ongoing through Tupelo Water & Light.
Money for the project is coming from a State Revolving Fund loan partially reimbursed by TW&L. But Blissard said the CDBG funding would allow the city to essentially deduct $600,000 from its loan.
“This would not be any new money for the sewer lines,” she said. “If we get the grant, we’ll just be out less money than we anticipated.”
Blissard said project costs are still being determined for the low to moderate income area, but that $600,000 is the maximum amount which can be granted under the CDBG public facilities program.
The MDA has allocated nearly $23 million to award to cities and counties on a competitive basis for the CDBG program.