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Hattiesburg Receives Three Matching ARPA Grants for Infrastructure

Hattiesburg, Mississippi – The City of Hattiesburg received notice on Friday of three project submissions selected for matching American Rescue Plan Act funding through the Mississippi Municipality and County Water Infrastructure (MCWI) Grant Program Act of 2022. These priority areas projects include water and sewer improvements for Martin Luther King Avenue (Ward 5), drainage improvements for West 7th/North 25th Avenue/Grace Avenue (Ward 2) and sewer improvements for Edwards Street (Ward 2)

The MCWI Grant Program, established through Senate Bill 2822, incentivizes cities to steer ARPA allocations toward long-term, strategic investments by giving a 1:1 match on water, sewer and stormwater projects. For Hattiesburg, the $12.8 million allocated by Congress could turn into more than $20 million if the majority of funds are used for water, sewer and stormwater projects through the state’s matching program.

“We are pleased that three of our proposed ARPA infrastructure projects were approved for state matching funds,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “These grants accelerate our efforts of replacing and strengthening the city’s water, sewer and drainage systems.”

In August, a survey seeking insight into how ARPA funding should be spent validated the growing need for more investment in the City’s infrastructure. Of more than 300 responses, 67% of residents marked infrastructure as a priority category for funding.

The MCWI grant program, managed by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, opened applications in early September through an online portal. Hattiesburg’s three projects were identified based on the need and ability to move to shovel-ready status.

Barker added, “We appreciate the Mississippi Legislature’s willingness to make resources available that incentivize cities like Hattiesburg to commit ARPA funds toward long-term investments.”

The scope for the three Hattiesburg projects selected include

  • Martin Luther King Avenue (water and sewer improvements in Ward 5) will include replacing sewer lines and undersized water lines on parts of Martin Luther King Avenue, Townsend Street and Independence Avenue, Francis Street and others. The grant total awarded for this project is $1,893,116. The total estimated project cost is $3,786,232.
  • West 7th/North 25th Avenue/Grace Avenue (drainage improvements in Ward 2) will include drainage improvements on parts of West 7th Street, North 25th Avenue and Grace Avenue. This includes the redesign and rehabilitation of existing storm sewer pipes and structures, the addition of appropriate surface drainage along West 7th Street and the construction of multiple detention facilities in the scope of the project’s watershed. The grant total awarded for this project is $1,635,500. The total estimated project cost is $3,794,000.
  • Ewards Street (sewer improvements in Ward 2) will include replacing sewer lines on parts of the northern end of Edwards Street. The grant total awarded for this project is $587,453. The total estimated project cost is $1,362,906.

The remaining costs for each project will be funded by the city’s individual ARPA allocation. The next steps for these funding allocations include the design phase and contract bidding process according to grant guidelines.

Hattiesburg’s projects were three of 130 total projects around Mississippi that were allocated funding during this application phase – with a total of $93 million going toward 76 sewer/wastewater projects, $47 million toward 36 drinking water projects and $35 million going toward 18 stormwater projects.

Another application phase will likely open in the Spring. The City intends to submit for additional funding. To stay updated about the City’s funding priorities and plans through ARPA, visit hattiesburgms.com/arpa.

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