Columbus leaders draft plans to use ARPA money to ease flooding issues
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Columbus leaders are moving forward with plans to use American Rescue Plan Act money to alleviate some of the city’s flooding issues.
The Council voted to allow Waggoner Engineering to move forward on seeking grant money from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to help pay for two projects around 15th Avenue North and the Brickyard.
The City has set aside $3 million in ARPA money and has a pledge of another $450,000 from the county. If it receives the match from MDEQ that would put the total close to the $6.9 million price tag.
During the usual routine approval of the claims docket, Councilman Pierre Beard raised questions about where Engineering Fees to Waggoner were coming from, ARPA money, or another account.
The answer wasn’t immediately available and the council tabled the approval. While the amount was relatively small, in cases like this every dollar counts.
“They need to go ahead because they’ve got to get these proposals in by the end of January to the state to get them matched. So, last night’s vote was to give them permission to move forward in asking for that. So, we’re trying to find ways to pay the engineering fees without bringing it from ARPA. Because everything you take out of ARPA, you’ve lost your match,” said Columbus Mayor Keith Gaskin.
The City Council is also pursuing more Federal money to help cover the costs of other drainage and infrastructure projects.