The House and Senate on Thursday, March 29, passed a version agreed to by both Houses of SB 3201 which contains $1.1 million to complete the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery located in Yalobusha County.
I strongly supported additional funding for the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery so that the hatchery would live up to its full potential in fish production for the public lakes and streams of our State.
The Bill requires a $525,000 in kind match from the Yazoo-Mississippi Levee Board which has agreed to dig up to eleven additional ponds to complete the fish hatchery.
Approximately $8.8 Million has been invested by the state in the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery and $1.1 Million authorized SB 3201 should substantially complete the fish production facilities of the hatchery. I very much appreciate the work of the Wildlife Foundation which is helping to equip and complete the public reception and educational building that will accompany the fish hatchery.
SB 3201 in its final form was amended to add $20 Million in funding for the Local System Bridge Replacement Program. Funding for the Local System Bridge Replacement Program has resulted in the replacement or renovation of hundreds of county bridges in our State which have a 50 percent or below bridge sufficiency rating. Without funding of this Program, replacement of seriously substandard rural bridges would be very difficult or very expensive to local property taxpayers. The Senate did not agree to add $5 Million additional funds that the House desired for road improvement on non- state aid rural roads. This is a priority that, I believe, should be funded and I will continue to work for state funding for non- state aid rural roads.
The House and Senate reached agreement on the final form of SB 2304 last week. I had added an amendment to the Bill to authorize counties and cities in their discretion to give a break on car tags to servicemen and servicewomen who are currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
I served on the conference committee on SB 2304; and in the final version of the Bill, both Houses of the legislature agreed to allow relief for those serving Iraq and Afghanistan. The relief may be available as early as the beginning of the county fiscal year on October 1. The purpose of the tag relief is to show appreciation for the dedicated service to our Country of our servicemen and servicewomen in harm’s way.
If I can be of any assistance to you please call on me. The phone number in my Charleston office is (662) 647-3203, and my residence phone number is (662) 473-2571. I can also be contacted by writing me at my home address of 15 CR 429, Water Valley, MS 38965, or at my office address of P.O. Box 220, Charleston, MS 38921.