Mayor Hal Marx proposed a cumulative 5-year plan to invest resources heavily into the infrastructure budget for Petal, Mississippi. This plan is designed to generate a year-over-year focus on maintaining the streets and sewer systems all over town and to prevent them from falling into disrepair.
“Infrastructure is something that is, a lot of times, neglected because a lot of people think they can keep kicking it down the road and it never happens. The state of the streets and water and sewer lines deteriorate over time, so if you wait too long, it becomes impossible to get it all done.”
Infrastructure is one of Mayor Marx’s projects that he is focusing on that will hopefully bring more business to the city. While the city is typically allowed to get three miles of road done per year, he is hoping that his new budgeting plans will allow them to build and repair ten miles of road per year. This infrastructure plan is designed to continue for the next five years and each year, add more roads to the list to continue to maintain the city. Mayor Marx says that “we’ve built two new roads. We finished a new frontage road on the parkway and we finished the Byrd Blvd expansion. Basically, we need to prioritize which roads need to be repaved and we need to prioritize when the water and sewer lines need to be repaired.” John Weeks of Shows Dearman & Waits and the main engineer, along with the city Aldermen consult with the Mayor to plan what work needs to get done first.
This year, the focus is on repaving Old Richton Road, Ogilsvie Road, Sunrise Rd, West Temple Road, Holly Trail, and the Cross Creek neighborhood. He plans to do more roads within the Sunrise area and the Leeville area as well.
“We are now about one-third of the way through the project and depending on the weather, it’ll take another two to three weeks to be done with the project.”
Petal has grown significantly over the past few years. Since the opening of the Evelyn Gandy Parkway in 2006, many possibilities opened for The Friendly City. Businesses, including Chili’s, Waffle House, Taco Bell and Lowe’s are now in operation along the parkway, with Zaxby’s and several more to come. The city is also planning to annex more of the surrounding areas and neighborhoods.
Photos by Cornelius Thompson