HATTIESBURG, MS - The Hattiesburg City Council approved an agreement Tuesday to hire a consulting firm to help the city find grants to improve infrastructure before The District at Midtown project is built.
The city will work with Urban Planning Consultants, Inc. in hopes of receiving Developmental Infrastructures Funding (DIP) from the Mississippi Development Authority to hopefully reduce the amount of money the city spends.
"We can get as much as a half a million dollars to $1 million in grant money from MDA if this goes through," said Carter Carroll, Hattiesburg City Council president. "We're very happy to get this started and see if we we can receive this grant."
Carroll said the area needs basic improvements to accommodate the incoming hotel and retail, restaurant and rental space.
"(The grant money) would go to the fixing of the streets and sidewalks to the water and sewer lines that all need to be replaced since we're going to be putting bigger buildings there," Carroll said.
He said the city is also planning to make the area more friendly for foot traffic.
"Right now it's more of a vehicular-type street set up, being an old residential area of town," Carroll said. "Now we're going to build it so it's more pedestrian friendly, bicycle friendly, and less driving on the streets. More parking and walking where you're going."
Carroll said the whole midtown development is a multi-million dollar project, so he hopes other grants will help pay for future work.