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Pike County Economic Development District

Paving done, park up next

Magnolia bond project on time, under budget

 

By: LaKeadra Coffey, Enterprise-Journal

 

The City of Magnolia is putting the finishing touches on street paving and moving on to the next phase work of a $1.5 million bond project, the construction of a new park.

Mayor Anthony Witherspoon told aldermen Monday  that the road work was originally projected to cost $984,000 but came in at $825,000, leaving a surplus of $158,000.

He said aldermen did a good job of budgetting every project included in the bond.

The city borrowed the money in December to pave 12 streets — North Cherry, South Cherry, North Prewitt, South Prewitt, West Pine, West Olive, Magnolia, Kramer, Poplar and East Magnolia streets, and Regan Road and West Railroad Avenue — as well as build a new park behind South Pike junior high and high schools on Quinlivan Road and a pavilion at the farmer’s market.

Workers with Dickerson & Bowen have worked for months on the street overlay.

Witherspoon suggested the city look into paving more streets near the schools before the work for the park begins.

“That area is pretty bad on Quinlivan,” he said. “We have some settling and some dips there. I think it would be in our best interest to use our surplus to upgrade that portion of the street.”

Witherspoon said having freshly paved streets around anchor institutions such as the schools and Beacham Memorial Hospital will help attract new businesses and residents.

“I’m hearing from our citizens that we’ve done a pretty good job,” he said. “When businesses look for a home for their corporations or people look for a home, period, for their family, we can show them our park, schools and hospital and everything looks good.”

The new addition covers Poplar Street from Garland to Quinlivan, then south on Quinlivan to West Myrtle, onto East Myrtle  and up to North Cherry, will complete the project.

Witherspoon said since the Mississippi Department of Transportation is paving Highway 51 this summer.

“We were successful in getting 51 back on the overlay schedule,” he said. “We were on there and they took us off. We asked that they reconsider and we were put back on the list. It’ll make a nice transition between East and West Myrtle and all four sides of hospitals and schools will be covered.”

Witherspoon said the cost to mill and overlay that portion of the streets will be $131,000, still under the $158,000 surplus.

“It is strictly construction. It doesn’t have the engineering fees included,” he said. “We’re still real close, but we can be even closer. I think we budgeted ourselves pretty well on the pavilion and on the welcome signs.”

He said the city was conservative when they budgeted for the work, leaving a surplus for more projects and there should still be a surplus left over when the projects are completed.

 

 

Pike County Certifying Workforce

 

Pike County, along with Amite, Walthall, and Wilkinson Counties, is currently undergoing the process of being designated as an ACT Work Ready Community. The ACT Work Ready Community is a designation earned by counties who work with ACT to close the labor skills gap within their communities. Participating counties must go through a yearlong implementation process in which county leaders attend four academies facilitated by the ACT. As a part of the program, each individual county is given goals by the ACT to obtain, as well as to maintain, their certification status as a Work Ready Community. Upon completion of the four ACT academies, counties have two years to meet their goals provided by ACT.

The ACT Work Ready system relies on the ACT WorkKeys assessment, which is a three-part examination which tests applied mathematics, reading, and locating information. Local workforce participants take the WorkKeys assessment and, upon completion, are awarded the National Career Ready Certificate, better known as the NCRC.

Amite, Pike, Walthall, and Wilkinson Counties will be attending the second of the four required ACT academies in the month of June.

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Pike County Economic Development District
Mailing address: PO Box 5302, Summit, MS 39666
Physical address: Southwest Mississippi Community College, 1156 College Drive, Summit, MS 39666