Hattiesburg plans upgrades for 2012

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The city of Hattiesburg is taking public transportation to the next level to help those in need.

"It's a system of five buses where we have a list of about 100 senior citizens or disabled citizens, who we pick up and we take to the doctor's office, take the mall, to go grocery shopping," said Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree.

Efficiency will be the key. Each one will have a tablet with GPS capabilities. It will also help with concise demand response time.

"It allows us to actually track the vehicles so we can estimate better our pick up time , and our deliver time,"said DuPree.

Total cost about is about $80,000, but not from tax payers.

"Stimulus funds from the federal government is actually paying for it,"said DuPree.

Another project citizens can look out for is called Gordon's Creek Pathway. This is trails from Hattiesburg High School to the Hattiesburg Zoo, from Southern Miss to Main Street and from Main Street to the Depot. The mayor says its purpose is connectivity and also keeping people healthy.

"Everybody can't afford or don't want to go to a gym. Can't afford a gym, but everybody can walk. Everybody can get out on those pathways and do those things,"said DuPree.

Hattiesburg is also setting its sights on going green, starting with the police department headquarters.

"We are looking at making that a lead building, or a green building. Where we look at solar panels, collection of water so we can use water for irrigation. We're looking at reducing our carbon foot print," said DuPree.

Such a big task demands big funds, which the mayor says the city will be looking for at an event called "Mayors for City Design."

"We will be presenting the police department as it is now, so that we can get ideas about renovation, where we can find funds."

DuPree says the developments the city is undertaking for 2012 is all in an effort to do as much as it can for the people of Hattiesburg.

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