By Alyssa Schnugg
Something is generally better than nothing. However, when it comes to the amount of money Oxford received from state and federal sources for infrastructure projects, “something” just isn’t going to cut it.
Mayor Robyn Tannehill announced during the Board of Aldermen Tuesday that the city will be receiving $750,000 from the Department of Finance Appropriations Bill to go toward improving the intersection of Highway 7 and University Avenue.
“That’s about a $9 million project,” she said. “It’s a start but we have a long way to go before that project can come to fruition.”
The 2018 Transportation and Infrastructure Improvements Fund awarded $16,429,000 for projects around the state.
“What is most frustrating is that the projects we’re asking for money for are on state property,” Tannehill said. “They are on MDOT roads.”
In January, the Mississippi Transportation Commission approved $250 million for 163 road and bridge repair projects.
Eighty city and county governments got $213 million for projects on local roads while MDOT was awarded $37 million for projects on the state highway network.
Oxford and Lafayette County received nothing.
It wasn’t the first time Oxford was overlooked this past year.
During the Special Session in August, Senate Bill 2002, which provides the 2018 Transportation and Infrastructure Improvements Fund that is funded by BP settlement money, Oxford again received no funds.
Lafayette County was awarded $1 million to be used for the Highway 7/9 split, but it stipulates it must stop at the city limits. The county also received $1 million associated with the extension of West Oxford Loop.
“We will keep trying,” Tannehill said. “This board is committed to getting some new infrastructure projects through state and federal dollars.”