HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Leaders with the City of Hattiesburg are asking people for feedback on how American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds should be spent.

In early 2022, the Hattiesburg City Council voted to receive Recovery Funds that were granted to Hattiesburg in the amount of $12 million. The funds were held until the close of the 2022 Legislative Session in hopes that a bill would provide an opportunity to match funds with state allocations. The plan worked.

“You know, it would go a long way on consent decree for sanitary sewer over flows, which would further enhance the work we’re doing to rehabilitate and replace sewer lines as a city that experiences a lot of flash flooding. Because we are a flat city, we could invest in our drainage system improvements. We can invest in replacing undersized and aged water lines. There’s a lot you can do,” said Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker.  

City councilmembers said they believe all of the funding should not be spent in one place, while one Hattiesburg resident said the money should be spent on housing.

“Housing most definitely. See, I don’t really know enough about the inner workings to say, but maybe you got a person that has a house but maybe needs a little help with a roof or something like that. Maybe like a grant because you got people that would do it, but they don’t have the money to do it. And work on like bringing certain areas up to par, but you got a lot of people that would just a little help could do a whole lot better,” said the neighbor.  

Hattiesburg neighbors can go online to hattiesburgms.com/arpa to give their opinion.