JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Relief may be on the way to ease flooding and drainage issues in Eastern Jackson County. County supervisors are working with state leaders and Gulf Regional Planning to apply for a National Disaster Resiliency Grant, and the impact could be significant.
The grant is a two phase process that will competitively award nearly $1 billion in Disaster Recovery Funds from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mississippi has already completed phase one and has made it to phase two of the competition. Eastern Jackson County is identified as one of the targeted areas.
Board of Supervisors' President Barry Cumbest called it "a golden opportunity."
"There is a lot of money available with this grant. We have a team working overtime to help us submit the very best project concept we can to make us competitive," Cumbest explained. "We have met with our team, and various stakeholders such as the Cities to develop a project concept which attempts to address flooding and drainage issues in Eastern Jackson County, including Escatawpa, Orange Grove, Big Point and Helena areas."
Supervisor Melton Harris said developing a project concept has been a real team effort.
"We must have the concept completed by August 21, 2015. We are pressed for time and working around the clock to help our residents and citizens," Harris said. "This money would greatly benefit our area and help so many people who are in desperate need."
Cumbest said that local governments will develop project proposals based on unmet recovery needs from Hurricane Isaac, community objectives and community engagement. The State of Mississippi will then select the most competitive ideas that fit into overall resilience strategy for further refinement.
The grant comes from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation. The application deadline for the State of Mississippi to apply is October 27, 2015.