City officials in Jackson are trying to find the resources to fix its failing infrastructure. Last week the mayor declared a state of emergency.
According to the mayor the city's infrastructure has been plagued by problems for decades, but has reached a crisis point following severe winter weather. Last week officials say in just one day there were three water main breaks.
Shelia Byrd is the Director of Communications for the Mayor’s Office.
“We have infrastructure issues across the city we have water main breaks, we have problems with our roads with the potholes,” Byrd said. “These are issues that we’re trying to address in short order with the declaration and by that I mean we’re trying to get access to funding immediately.”
Byrd said it will cost 750 million to one billion dollars to address all of the city's infrastructure needs.
Ward One City Councilman Ashby Foote said the Mayor's Master Plan will help to fix many of the infrastructure problems in the city.
“Water pipes, sewer, drainage and roads and bridges, so it is a lot of important stuff.” Foote said. “If it all comes together we’ll be able to do a lot of work on improving the roads and bridges across Jackson.”
Some of the city’s needed repairs include 1,200 miles of streets, 200-plus bridges and hydraulic structures and 1,100 miles of water main.
Last year Jackson residents passed a one percent sales tax increase, to specifically fund infrastructure improvements. Revenue from the tax increase is estimated to bring in 13 million dollars a year, which is not enough to fix all of Jackson’s infrastructure problems.