McComb is inching closer to street paving.
Responding to a request for a progress report by Selectman Ronnie Brock, Mayor Quordiniah Lockley said Tuesday the city has received a draft resolution from the Butler Snow law firm outlining the purpose of issuing bonds and authorizing a bond sale for the proposed paving project.
Selectman Donovan Hill objected to the limited scope of the project, saying the city should address water and sewer lines as well.
“We need to fix the problem before we pave another street,” Hill said. “We have leaks under the streets, and if we just pave over them, we’ll have potholes in a month.”
Hill said the resolution mentions only streets, and Brock said it should include infrastructure under the streets as well.
Lockley said the board has time to discuss the scope of projects and whether members want to pursue water and sewer line rehabilitation. He noted that adding water and sewer lines to the projects will cut down on the area the city can cover with the proposed borrowing of $3.2 million.
The mayor also outlined progress on a number of other projects.
Among the most involved is a possibility of sending people to Washington, D.C., to learn more about obtaining funds for economically disadvantaged areas.
Lockley said the Urban Revitalization Coalition will choose 12 people to attend a conference on federal opportunity zone funding.
“They want to bring in stakeholders to help them understand how those funds flow,” he said.
Lockley said the organization has not spoken with him about the selection process for local participants, and he does not know how that selection will be made.
The mayor said McComb’s opportunity zone is roughly bounded by Delaware Avenue on the north, Highway 51 and Railroad Boulevard on the east, Interstate 55 on the west and Presley Boulevard/U.S. 98 on the south.
In addition, Lockley announced several history-related projects he is pursuing.
One is the creation of a civil rights foundation in McComb that would preserve and promote the local history of the movement. He envisioned cooperation between the foundation and the state’s history and civil rights museums in Jackson.
He also announced an effort to erect a historical marker at the Alpha Center honoring the former Universal School.
The original building was built in 1911, Lockley said, but the date of construction on the building now on the site is unknown. He asked for public help in uncovering more information about the organization and the site.
Lockley is still pursuing the establishment of a historic district covering a significant portion of McComb, as well as an entertainment district.
Both districts can result in tax breaks for homes and businesses within the boundaries.
For the historic district, Lockley said properties may be eligible for federal tax credits of 20 percent and state tax credits of 25 percent.