Cities and towns across the country, including the 289 member municipalities of the Mississippi Municipal League, have been calling on Congress to help with aging and crumbling water, sewer and street infrastructure since 2016.
Mississippi’s cities, towns and villages are responsible for maintaining over 23,000 miles of streets. With the cost of basic surfacing, milling and repair increasing 128 percent over the last 20 years, it’s no wonder that the municipalities in our State, 85 percent of which are under 10,000 in population, have not been able to keep up proper infrastructure maintenance.
On August 10, the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes $550 billion in new federal investment in America’s infrastructure.
As president of the Mississippi Municipal League and mayor of Greenville, MS, I commend Senator Roger Wicker for showing true non-partisan leadership when he voted for this bill. He understands that providing safe roads and bridges, clean drinking water and broadband technology to rural states like Mississippi are not partisan issues. Senator Wicker’s vote on this historic bill will provide $3.3 billion for roads and highways, $225 million for bridge repair, $283 million for water infrastructure and $100 million for airport improvements in our State. Because of Senator Wicker’s leadership, Mississippi will also get a fair shake in a $20 billion competitive grant program that local governments can participate in to receive additional infrastructure funding.
The MML thanks Senator Wicker for his vote, knowing that it was a difficult one for him. The funds coming to our State will allow “generational” investments that current and future Mississippi residents will benefit from and that will help create jobs and economic development opportunities in our State.
Mayor Errick D. Simmons, Mississippi Municipal League, Greenville