Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 4, 2016

City lends support to MEC’s Excelerate Mississippi

By John Howell
Batesville leaders met briefly last Monday morning in a special meeting called to adopt a resolution in support of Excelerate Mississippi, the Mississippi Economic Council’s $375 million proposal to the legislature for repair of the state’s deficient roads and bridges.
Excelerate Mississippi cites 936 state bridges and 2,989 local bridges as deficient and 24,591 lane miles of state roads and 13,192 local road miles in dire need of repair. The proposal would allocate $300 million to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and $75 million to counties and municipalities.
The MEC initiative cites several options as funding sources for legislators to consider. By adopting the resolution, Batesville becomes a member of  Excelerate Mississippi.
Aldermen adopted the resolution with a 4-0 vote and little discussion. Aldermen Ted Stewart, Bill Dugger, Eddie Nabors and Stan Harrison attended Monday’s meeting along with Mayor Jerry Autrey and appointed officials.
During the meeting, city officials also authorized the police department of to purchase a used, 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe that the Missouri Highway Patrol has designated as surplus.
“We have been on the waiting list for about a year,” said Deputy Police Chief Jimmy McCloud who made the purchase request.
The Tahoe purchase comes in addition to aldermen’s January 19 approval to purchase five new Dodge Charger Police Pursuit vehicles.
The purchases will allow the police department to get rid of its high-mileage vehicles, McCloud said. The Chargers will be marked and placed in the city’s patrol fleet; the Tahoe will be used by the detective division, he said.

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