Winston, Noxubee Counties look forward to incoming funding

MACON, Miss. (WCBI) – With the 2023 legislative session, all wrapped up, money is set to flow into Winston and Noxubee Counties, among others.

District 32 Senator Rod Hickman lobbied over $11 million to support his constituents.

That $11.6 million is expected to support roads, buildings, and first responders.

It’s a win-win for residents and the people who protect them.

District 32 came out as a winner in the 2023 legislative session.

“A lot of it is just assessing and knowing the needs of the community,” said Hickman.

Hickman fought to secure $11.6 million in this year’s session to take care of infrastructural needs, including almost $3 million that will support the Noxubee County Civic Center and Sportsplex, roads, and government buildings in Louisville, and $450,000 to support fire departments in Winston County and the city of Macon.

“A lot of local officials advocated for their area and let us know what had a need of,” said Hickman.

The Macon Volunteer Fire Department will use the money to invest in a new fire truck.

Something Fire Chief David Estes said the department is in dire need of.

“The older they get the more maintenance there is. The worst thing you want to see is, you get a call and something is wrong with your truck and when a truck gets older, there’s just a better chance of that happening,” said Estes.

New equipment for a fire department increases your chance of being rescued and lowers your insurance rates.

“Your homeowner insurance goes down depending on the rating of your fire department as well as your proximity of the location to fire departments. People see a very tangible benefit,” said Estes.

Macon’s fire department has a seven rating, the best possible rating for a volunteer fire department.

“You have to keep your trucks up to date. So, getting this new truck keeps our rating. If we do not get a new truck, pretty soon we’ll lose our rating,” said Estes.

Estes thanked the Mayor of Macon, the Noxubee County Fire Association, and the state legislators who played a role in supporting the volunteer fire departments.

Senator Hickman explains where the $11.6 million actually comes from, “This money is coming from taxes that have been paid. Basically, our general fund. Prior to the last two years, this used to be called our bond bill where these projects came from and we would make a bond bill but Mississippi has paid off a lot of those bonds in the last two years. Luckily, we haven’t had to make a bond bill. We’ve been able to transfer from our general fund. To answer your question, it comes from a combination of places.”

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