Hattiesburg City Council approves Twin Forks Rising - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Hattiesburg City Council approves Twin Forks Rising

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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Tuesday evening the Hattiesburg City Council approved a contract for professional services to complete phase two of the Twin Forks Rising Project. The purpose of this endeavor is to revitalize Ward 2, represented by Councilwoman Deborah Delgado.

Some say its an area that has been overlooked for some time. However, the go ahead to start planning doesn't come without pause from some members of the council.

"It is wonderful to try to revitalize an area, but you have got to have some buy-in from the community, from the neighborhood to have some skin in the game. Thus far this project has just been on the back of the city," said City Council President Kim Bradley.

Bradley says Twin Forks Rising is a long term project aimed at rehabilitating homes in Ward 2, along areas like Bouie and Mobile streets. It will also provide new infrastructure. Bradley says he's expressed to Delgado that this project has his support. But his concern is at what cost.

"I told her that, 'You know what we are in it this far. I would support the second $80,000 for phase two of the twin forks.' I intend to honor that today. I'll vote for it, but it is with concern," said Bradley.

Bradley says the price tag makes him hesitant, saying if $80,000 is the price to complete planning for phase two what's the cost for the next phase.

"It has got to stop somewhere, because that is not the role of government, to go back and do that. It's not. We don't have the money to do that," said Bradley.

Bradley says he's unsure about the private sector investing in the project.

"The only way it is going to work is if you have buy-in from the business community. Business owners, investors that want to go put their money up. There are vacant lots down on Mobile street," said Bradley.

For Bradley the area itself presents a potential obstacle for the project.

"We are taking about going into a flood zone area," said Bradley.

Bradley believes building in an area under flood zone regulations will present more challenges, and make revitalization difficult.

Thompson Engineering is handling the contract.

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