OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Oktibbeha County Supervisors have taken the next step in making repairs to a damaged dam at the Oktibbeha County Lake.
The board approved up to $250,000 for the county engineer to do an assessment to come up with a repair plan.
County supervisors are still deciding what’s best for the future of the lake. But there’s one thing for certain it’ll come with a hefty price tag.
Repairing the dam at the Oktibbeha County Lake has moved to the top of the priority list for county supervisors, but there is one big concern.
How to pay for it?
In a 3-2 vote, the Board agreed to pay for half of the repairs on the levee and dam.
“If it cost $10,000,000 to do it and we have to get $5,000,000 in federal or state funds. The county has already voted in the 3-2 to put up the other $5,000,000,” said District 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller.
Miller said the board now has to consider all its options to cover the cost.
“That’s going to mean doing a loan, a high-interest loan, and that means taking that funding from somewhere or doing a bond which will raise your taxes,” said Miller.
However, District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard said there’s a way to complete the project without taxpayers being affected.
“I think I laid out a pretty solid plan last night of how we can see it forward, and how we can get this funding in place and how we can take care of our debt without a tax increase. There are something things and we’ll have to look into the budget but the money is there without us having to raise taxes,” said Howard.
“Citizens would have another voice if they wanted their taxes raised. It’d be three to four to five million dollars or even more we don’t know exactly what it’s going to cost yet,” said Miller.
County leaders said regardless of the price, their main concern is the safety of the public.
As of now, supervisors must wait for the county engineer to complete reconstruction plans.
“We’re going out and gathering this information, developing the plans, then we’ll have a clear path forward of exactly what it is we want to do. But at this time, until our engineer finishes we don’t have clear answers right now,” said Howard.
We’ll continue to provide updated information on the lake as it progresses.