The City of Jackson announced on Tuesday, Aug. 14, that it entered into an interlocal agreement with the Hinds County Board of Supervisors to repair 59 streets within city limits.
Photo by Trip Burns/File Photo
JACKSON The city council recently approved an interlocal agreement with the Hinds County Board of Supervisors that will allow for 59 street repairs throughout Jackson, almost $4 million worth of work in total, City Communications Manager Candice Cole told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 14.
"This comes after hearing the concerns of many Jackson residents, which we are happy to help," Cole said before yielding to Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.
The official documents are broken down by neighborhood into 10 different agreements, but the Jackson City Council approved them all in one fell swoop as an emergency item at the Aug. 14 meeting, as City employees had been working up to the "wee hours" to get this completed before the meeting, Lumumba said.
At a press conference in July, the mayor defended himself and his administration against claims that he had a stack of interlocal agreements on his desk he had been refusing to sign. This week's measure frees some of those that have been "stuck in purgatory" since 2014, as the mayor put it.
Lumumba thanked the city attorney's office and the public works department for making the moment possible. He also thanked Jacksonians.
"We are well aware that the citizens of Jackson have been more than patient as it pertains to our roads," Lumumba said. "We understand the constant decay that our roads are suffering from, so we stand ready to do all that we can in order to provide relief to this."
The agreements have a long way to go before being finalized, however. The city clerk and city attorneys have to go back through the minutes and verify them. Once that happens, the mayor will sign the agreements and return them to the county. The Hinds County Board of Supervisors will then sign off and send the agreements to the attorney general's office for final approval.
The mayor hopes to speed up the process in two places: before the agreements reach his desk and after they go to the board of supervisors. Lumumba said sometimes interlocal agreements get dropped off elsewhere besides his office because there has been no real process between the City and Hinds County.
"We have to focus inward and identify what are the process failures that are leading to these delays," the mayor said. "I submit that these process failures are one on behalf of the City of Jackson, but I think there is a role for all parties to accept in that."
Email city reporter Ko Bragg at firstname.lastname@example.org.