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Video: Columbus Residents Voice Concerns About Bond Issue

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Demanding answers, around 70 Columbus residents flooded the city council with questions about their proposed bond issue. Councilmen are considering a 20 year, $5 million bond for financing upgrades throughout the city.

“The specifics of the bond issue is paving the streets, sidewalks, curbs and gutters and stripping the streets,” said Columbus Mayor Robert Smith.

But many at the meeting say $5 million over 20 years is too long. Others are concerned about an increase in their millage rates. Citizens like, Ward 4 resident Scherrel Sturdivant and Ward 1 resident Chris Chain say the city’s plans are too vague.

“What are you going to do with the money? What paving are you going to do? That’s what I want to know. What drainage are you going to fix? Because I have drainage problems on my street. So I’m concerned about where my tax dollars are going and what they’re going to do with them,” said Sturdivant.

“Cities have always worked off bond issues like that, but it seems like they could’ve been a little bit more prepared. I know the city engineer had talked about well he’s look at several projects, but that doesn’t mean that you and I know where those are! You know, it’s our money! It’s each citizens’ money,” said Chain.

Mayor Smith says he plans on taking each of their concerns into consideration.

“If you’re concerned about your infrastructure, we would ask for the citizens support. Because if not, if we don’t do some milling, paving, stripping, curbs and gutter, then the streets will get worse and worse,” said Mayor Smith.

“I don’t think they answered the questions that citizens had. That’s what I’m concerned about,” said Sturdivant.

The bond issue could come up again at next Tuesday’s meeting. If the proposal passes, residents could sign a petition.