Drew receives funding for infrastructure repairs
by Rory Doyle
Feb 07, 2013 | 2389 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Drew will soon begin a $2.4 million project to overhaul its outdated water and sewer systems and crumbling streets.

Tommie Allen with the Phelps Dunbar law firm from Jackson presented good news to the Drew Board of Aldermen at Tuesday's monthly meeting.

"A bond for $438,000 was purchased by Rural Development with an annual interest rate of 2.5 percent," said Allen. "The city will pay off the bond through annual payments of $19,649."

Drew ends up receiving nearly $2 million in grant support from various sources, including the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Mississippi Development Authority.

Insufficient infrastructure has plagued Drew neighborhoods for a number of years.

"We are ready to begin the final steps and move forward," added Allen. "The next step is to get the bond validated by the Sunflower County Chancery Court and then begin the closing process."

City attorney Daniel E. Morris said if all runs smoothly, actual construction could begin within a few weeks.

"Everything is in place and we're good to go once the closing takes place," said Morris.

Rural Development, an operation of the USDA, is dedicated to providing a variety of programs to rural communities and individuals to promote economic and community growth.

Fixing Drew's severe water, sewer and street problems closely aligns with Rural Development's mission.

Drew will repay the bond through regular monthly water and sewer fees collected from citizens.

Thanks to funding support, Drew will also be able to extend city water lines to 80 houses further out in the county.

Fees collected from these houses will help repay the bond.

The line extensions will impact homeowners from the outskirts of Drew up to Miss. Highway 32.

Mayor Jeffery Kilpatrick said Drew residents are eager for the work to begin.

"We're just excited about what this means for the city," he said. "It feels great that the we're ready to begin. It's been a long process.

"I'm sure people of the city will be appreciative of the upgrades once they're complete. We're breaking ground towards progress."

Alderman and vice mayor Harvey Burchfield said the overhaul should provide an attractive facelift for the city.

"This project is a big positive for us and we need positive news in Drew," said Burchfield. "Anything we can do to attract more businesses and industry is a big plus.

"Inviting more business to our city will bring in some much-needed revenue."

Repairs to some of Drew's worst streets will also begin shortly.

Joseph Street, First Street, Shaw Avenue, Gertrude Avenue and Park Avenue are a few streets that will receive the most attention.

Sunflower County will also provide $25,000 to support construction.