Supervisors approve Blackjack project preparations

Staff Writer

The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors on Monday unanimously approved two steps toward the Blackjack Road project in conjunction with Mississippi State University.

The board first approved the university’s master plan for the project, and then approved an agreement with the Mississippi Development Authority to receive no more than $3 million in funds for the project.
According to Golden Triangle Planning and Development Board Consultant Phyllis Benson, the county would be responsible for maintaining the parts of the project funded with the grant, while other parts of the project will fall under MSU maintenance.

“It appears that the site amenities, like the sidewalk (and) lighting will not be a part of this $3 million,” Benson said. “The funds are insufficient to caretake all of that.”

County Administrator Emily Garrard said the county would only be responsible for maintaining the actual road bed.

After some heated discussion, the board also voted 3-2 to divide $10 million in anticipated road bond funds based on road miles per district. District 1 Supervisor John Montgomery and District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard voted no.
Divided by road miles, District 1 would receive 19 percent. District 2 would receive 22 percent. District 3 would receive 12 percent. District 4 would receive 25 percent, and District 5 would receive 22 percent.

However, Board President Orlando Trainer said the board could change its decision once the money is in the county’s hands.

“That’s what the initial decision was, but of course nothing was final, ” Trainer said.

A public hearing on the road bonds is scheduled for mid-February.