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January 30, 2007




(Jackson, Mississippi) – Governor Haley Barbour announced today that a $224,415 grant to the Jackson County Utility Authority and a $102,700 grant to the Pearl River County Utility Authority have been approved by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The funds will be used for planning and design costs of a Wastewater Treatment Facility in Hurley and for Water Supply and Storage Facilities near the City of Poplarville. Total funds of up to $3.9 million will be available for construction of the Hurley project and $2 million for the Poplarville project upon approval of the initial planning and design phase.

“Tens of thousands of our citizens were without basic services when water and sewer systems in the Gulf Coast region were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina," Governor Barbour said. "These systems must be improved, and we must also provide infrastructure for new development, which will occur as people move further inland. I am pleased we are able to begin with this crucial first step."
These projects are part of the Gulf Region Water and Wastewater Plan that produced recommendations for the use of $630 million in disaster recovery funds to develop and enhance water and wastewater water infrastructure.

Governor Barbour and Mississippi’s Congressional Delegation obtained appropriations of more than $5 billion through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist in hurricane recovery. Following a recommendation by the Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal, the Legislature passed the Mississippi Gulf Region Utility Act which created county utility authorities to help provide delivery of water, wastewater, and storm water services to citizens of the Gulf Region.

Out of this money, the Mississippi Gulf Region Water and Wastewater Plan was prepared under a contract between the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and MS Engineering Group, Inc., for improvements intended to support existing and future growth patterns, particularly as realized through new housing construction, and to promote economic development.