Lumberton financial struggles continue

Lumberton financial struggles continue

LUMBERTON, MS (WDAM) - Lumberton Mayor Ben Winston said Tuesday the city cannot use the current $450,000 sewer improvement project grant as a matching fund for the $2.5 million grant received from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Alderman Quincy Rogers asked in a board meeting Tuesday if the mayor had a concrete information that Lumberton could use the $450, 000 sewer improvement grant, and Winston said Tracey Giles, bureau manager at the Mississippi Development Authority, said the Corps of Engineers project wouldn't start soon enough to use the sewer grant as the match.

"Her answer was that she didn't feel like this project, the grant that we're talking about here, was going to come in on the schedule of the start up for the Corps of Engineers grant, and she didn't want her project held up," Winston said. "So, she recommends that we not request a letter from her at that time unless we can prove that this project is going to start on time."

Winston and Alderman Jay McGraw said the $2.5 million is not in jeopardy, and the Corps wouldn't have approved the grant without proof of a plan for matching funds. Alderwoman Cora Rogers asked if the CAP loan was a sufficient plan, and Winston said it was proof enough.

"I wrote it down that we had time to come up with the matching fund, and we didn't have to have it all at one time," Rogers said. "That we had to have a working plan on that grant... that 2 percent loan, is that proof enough?"

Winston said, "Yeah that's the reason why they lets us sign that contract. The Corps never would have let us sign the contract unless we had proof."

According to Winston, they hope to find a grant to use as the matching fund, so Lumberton will not have to take out and repay a large loan.