City of Houston approved for $1 million loan

HOUSTON, Miss. (WCBI) – Residents of Houston could see some big changes in the town square over the next few months.

In early December, the Houston Board of Alderman took a big step toward making much-needed infrastructure upgrades.

“A million dollar loan was secured from three rivers at a very favorable rate and no outside fees, in favor of our fifteen member tourism committee who voted unanimously to take bids to rework and make our courthouse square beautiful,’ said Alderman At Large, Barry Springer.

The courthouse square project will only cost about $650,000.

The board will use the leftover amount for street repair– a project for which they’ve already raised over $800,000.

“The other $395,000 available, the city board elected to take that money to finish out our street program and do all the neighborhoods that we had been promising over the last two or three years.”

Houston Mayor Stacey Parker said it’s more than just a million-dollar loan.

“It’s going to go further than that. One of the things about our sidewalks, we could spend $2 million, but that investment will last beyond fifty years or longer,” said Parker.

Not every board member was in favor of the loan.

Some proposed waiting for a state grant to fund the remaining street projects.

Parker said the city has already tried that method.

“Over fifteen years ago to try to get grants for streets. Those street projects only, typically, if doesn’t necessarily stand for this a hundred percent, typically those are associated with job creations,” said Parker.

“There are plenty of neighborhoods and plenty of streets for those grants, but they are the bird in the bush, and we’re taking the bird in the hand to deliver to our people today,” said Springer.

With tourism from the Tanglefoot Trail playing such a vital role in the city’s economy, city leaders said now is the time to make improvements.

“Economic development is very important to any town, but quality of life is what brings people in to live in our town and stay in our town, and our children remain in our town. We intend for our beautiful courthouse to be surrounded by a beautiful square. Very few cities have the opportunity we have here,” said Springer.

“Houston are you ready? It’s time,” said Parker.

The new projects are expected to start within the next few weeks.

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