Hattiesburg, Mississippi – During the second routine meeting for the Hattiesburg City Council in August, council members voted 4-0 to accept six additional grants from the Mississippi Municipality and County Water Infrastructure (MCWI) Grant Program.
Including these six grants, the Council adopted resolutions obligating American Rescue Plan Act funding and matching grant funding for nine total water, sewer and stormwater projects through the city’s footprint.
After the Mississippi Legislature allocated statewide ARPA money as a matching opportunity for local municipalities to use their ARPA allocations through the MCWI program in 2022, Hattiesburg officials began to identify possible projects in the city that would qualify.
“We believe ARPA funds represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in Hattiesburg’s infrastructure, particularly when it comes to solving longstanding stormwater challenges,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “The Mississippi Legislature’s forward-thinking approach in creating match funding for local ARPA infrastructure investments allowed Hattiesburg to turn $12.8 million into more than $22 million in projects over the next few years.”
During the first grant period in September 2022, the City was awarded funding for three project sites. During the second grant period, an additional six projects have qualified and been added to the queue.
Barker added, “Last summer, we sought our residents’ input on how ARPA funding should be spent. Of more than 300 responses, 67% of residents marked infrastructure as a priority category for funding, validating the growing need for more investment in the City’s water, sewer and stormwater systems.”
In total, these projects total $10,864,807 in grant funding. They include comprehensive water and sewer infrastructure improvements, as well as stormwater and drainage projects in the following areas with the subsequent total grant funding allocated per project:
Project Name: Edwards Street Sewer/Water
Grant Award: $587,453
Summary: This project will include replacing sewer lines on parts of the northern end of Edwards Street. The Project includes the replacement of sewer mains, manholes, and potable water mains on parts of Edwards Street, Bernice Avenue, Eufala Street, Duke Avenue, Cypress Avenue, Clairborne Avenue, Magnolia Avenue and others.
Project Name: Martin Luther King Avenue Sewer/Water
Grant Award: $1,893,116
Summary: This project includes replacing sewer lines and undersized water lines on parts of Martin Luther King Avenue, Townsend Street and Independence Avenue, Francis Street and others.
Project Name: Irene Chapel Drainage
Grant Award: $566,256.25
Summary: This project will include replacing existing and constructing new drainage pipes and channels along Rouse Road, Dixie Pine Road, McCall Street and others.
Project Name: Penton Street, Magnolia Avenue and Cedar Street
Grant Award: $546,000
Summary: This project will include improvements to the drainage, water and sewer infrastructure at specific points of Penton Street, Magnolia Avenue and Cedar Street.
Project Name: West 7th Street and Eupora Street Sewer/Water/Stormwater
Grant Award: $1,310,625
Summary: This project will include a comprehensive rehabilitation of stormwater lines, undersized water lines, concrete sewer lines and the roadway along W. 7th Street from Main Street to Providence Street.
Project Name: Gordon’s Creek
Grant Award: $515,232
Summary: This project will include the replacement of a portion of a steel sheet pile retaining wall in Downtown.
Project Name: Lincoln Road, Sangria Drive and S. 34th Avenue Drainage
Grant Award: $3,175,000
Summary: This project will include constructing a detention area near Lincoln Road and completing drainage improvements to the tributary stream between Sangria Drive and S. 34th Avenue. These improvements will lower water surface elevations, improve downstream flow and ultimately remove 121 structures from a 100-year flood zone along the entire footprint of Gordon’s Creek.
Project Name: West 7th Street, 25th Avenue, and Grace Avenue Drainage
Grant Award: $1,635,500
Summary: This project will include the rehabilitation of stormwater pipes and structures, surface drainage improvements and the construction of multiple detention facilities within the watershed on parts of West 7th Street, North 25th Avenue and Grace Avenue.
Project Name: S. 40th Avenue Stormwater
Grant Award: $635,625
Summary: This project will include replacing existing and constructing new stormwater pipes and channels and implementing surface drainage improvements on S. 40th Avenue near the Mamie Street intersection.
Two of these projects – Edwards Street Sewer/Water and Martin Luther King Ave Sewer/Water – already have bids approved by council and are slated to begin later this fall.
The MCWI Grant Program, established through Senate Bill 2822 in 2022, incentivizes cities to steer ARPA allocations toward long-term, strategic investments by giving a 1:1 match on water, sewer and stormwater projects. For Hattiesburg, the $12.8 million allocated by Congress translates into more than $22 million in water, sewer and stormwater projects through the state’s matching program.