Hattiesburg residents upset over block grant spending

Some Hattiesburg residents are upset tonight over the way the city might spend some federal money to improve downtown lighting.

The city is considering spending up to $100,000 from community development block grants to add more lights downtown.

Officials also want to allocate the same amount of grant money for a housing repair program. But, at a public hearing Thursday, some residents said too much is being spent on the lighting and not enough on low-income areas away from downtown.

"It's needed, downtown is needed, and I have no problem with that," said D. Franklin Brown, Hattiesburg resident. "But, I think we should be spending even more than the $100,000. In fact, we should be spending as much as HUD will allow us to spend to get rid of these blue roofs in the Hattiesburg area."

"We need to invest in the city and not just spend $100,000 just because it's available to us," said Joseph White, a downtown businessman. "But, invest in the city and the infrastructure and the people that will help us generate greater investment down the road."