Hinds County offers to help Jackson pave streets, supervisor frustrated by lack of response

Metro

Jackson, MISS. (WJTV) — The Hinds County Board of Supervisors has offered to help the City of Jackson pave some streets through an inter-local agreement but one supervisor is frustrated by a lack of response from the Mayor.

District 1 Supervisor Robert Graham says multiple documents have been sent to the city’s legal department but, so far, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba has not signed any of the agreements.

If he would, paving could begin. Graham said, “We have identified 23 streets that are paid for, we have the people ready to do it, we have private contractors waiting.”

Kaywood Drive is one of the streets on Graham’s list. It’s just half a mile from the intersection of Ridgewood Road and Venetian Way where Frances Fortner died last week. The Jackson Academy Senior was on her way to graduation practice when it appears she hit an open manhole.

“No one should have to lose their life as it relates to streets, infrastructure, manhole covers, things of that nature,” said Graham. “It just breaks every ones heart when they hear the story of what happened last week to Frances Fortner.”

But no paving can be done until Mayor Lumumba signs the inter-local agreement. District 1 has nearly $5 million set aside when or if he does.

“The mayor came to one of our board meetings and said he wants to work with us,” said Graham. “Well, it’s time to stop talking, let’s work, let’s get this done.”

Hinds County is made up of 5 districts, all of which touch some part of Jackson. Graham says there are about 50 streets that the county could pave.

Mayor Lumumba issued the following statement after 7 p.m. Wednesday night:

“The City of Jackson is working diligently to speed up the Interlocal Agreement process
between Hinds County and the City. Mayor Lumumba attended the Hinds County Board of
Supervisors’ April 25, 2018 meeting to discuss this matter. Supervisor Graham was not
present at that meeting. However, Mayor Lumumba and other city officials met with
Supervisor Graham and other county officials subsequent to that meeting to discuss current Interlocal agreements and developing a template for all Interlocal agreements so that the process becomes more efficient moving forward.

As the City of Jackson is currently under an ADA Transition plan with regards to sidewalks
and curbs, the City has to assure that any paving projects are in compliance with ADA
standards. This does provide constraints on how and when projects can move forward.
Nonetheless, the City of Jackson is appreciative of all efforts to assist us in repairing our
in frastructure and values its relationship with the Hinds County Board of Supervisors. We
look forward to working with their Public Works Division to craft a more efficient Interlocal
Agreement process so that we can move forward with getting more Jackson streets paved.

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