Southwest Mississippi lawmakers have secured nearly $3 million in state bond funds for projects in their districts.

Included in the financing are funds to renovate the Walthall County Courthouse, prepare land in Pike County’s Gateway Industrial Park for a new National Guard readiness center, improve various attractions operated by the Scenic Rivers Development Alliance, build a recreational center in Centreville and shore up Summit’s water infrastructure.

Rep. Sam Mims V, R-McComb, hauled in the biggest share of bond money with the allotment of $500,000 for Scenic Rivers and $1 million for Gateway.

“This legislation shows the continuing support of state government of the successful efforts of the Scenic Rivers Alliance and the ongoing improvements at the Gateway Industrial Park,” Mims said in a news release. “Even while hampered by pandemic restrictions during the past several months, Scenic Rivers has continued to upgrade recreational opportunities in the area, resulting in significant economic development possibilities in the coming months.

Scenic River’s funding will go to repairs, renovations and upgrades to electrical equipment, lighting, irrigation, arenas, pavilions, cabins, public waterways, boat ramps, piers and parking areas. Facilities that could stand to benefit from the funding include Ethel Vance Park, Okhissa Lake, the Bogue Chitto Water Park, Quail Hollow Golf Course, Lake Walthall, Walthall Range, Walker’s Bridge Park, Clark Creek trail, Lake Mary, Foster Lake and Indian mound sites in Wilkinson County.

The money for Gateway will go to grading the industrial park, including a 24-acre tract for the National Guard’s readiness center.  

“I think continued improvements at the Gateway Industrial Park will certainly prove beneficial for possible business and industrial projects,” Mims said. “The Mississippi Military Department has delayed but not abandoned plans for a readiness center in the park, and the close proximity of the airport facility will continue to enhance future developments there.”

Summit officials will receive $200,000 for water system improvements, according to the bond legislation.

“I’m just grateful to be able to bring home some bacon to our district to aid in any way,” said Rep. Daryl Porter Jr., D-Summit, a former town councilman who secured the funding.

Rep. Angela Cockerham, I-Magnolia, managed to get $500,000 to build the recreation center in Centreville after town officials asked for her support of the project.

“It’s going to be a project that we’re going to develop hopefully in the next few months,” she said. “We started talking about it in 2019. We’ll add some money to it each year.”

Sen. Tammy Witherspoon, D-Magnolia, received $250,000 for renovations to the Walthall County Courthouse.

“They’ve been asking for that for the last couple of years,” Witherspoon said. “The courthouse needs a lot of repairs. I’ve toured it a couple of times.

“I asked for a million and got $250,000. I’m just honored to be able to help get that for them.”

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