JACKSON – For the past five years, Republican Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall has used the annual political speakings at the Nesoba County Fair to advocate for more funds for what he said is a deteriorating transportation system.
Hall, a Republican who is in his fifth term on the three-member Transportation Commission, reiterated his plea last week at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia.
“When school starts next month, there will be buses making their way over bridges in the state in danger of failure,” he said.
Other elected officials now agree that additional funds are needed for Mississippi’s infrastructure both on the state and local level.
“The problem is real,” Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said during his fair speech on Wednesday. “The goal is one we all agree on – better roads and bridges.”
The problem, as it has been for several years, is reaching consensus on how to achieve those better roads and bridges. Gov. Phil Bryant told the fair crowd he is working on the issue.
“I like challenges,” Bryant told the fair crowd. “We are going to take them on one at a time, whether public education … whether infrastructure.
“We work hard because that is what Mississippians do every day. When we get up we go out to make Mississippi great one more day.”
Reeves, Bryant and House Speaker Philip Gunn all say they want to address the transportation issue, but cannot agree on a solution.
For Hall, he told the Neshoba County fair attendees the solution is fairly simple.
He said the tax on motor fuel “remains the fairest way to fund roads and bridges. User pays. Those using the highways pay for the highways. That includes those using from other states and passing through to somewhere else.”
He said every year the Legislature refuses to address the transportation problem it grows worse and…