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Lawmakers move on bonds despite complaints from colleges and universities

Three-Criteria-to-Take-Into-Account-When-Investing-in-BondsJACKSON — Mississippi lawmakers are likely to agree to borrow a total of $450 million, including nearly $25 million to build an aquarium in Gulfport.

House members voted 73-44 to support Senate Bill 2906, which contains $250 million in borrowing, while members are considering another $200 million linked to a bill financed by casino taxes.

The House passage comes after supporters of Alcorn State University and Mississippi Valley State University sparked a long debate over the failure to provide money for faculty housing at Alcorn State and student housing at Valley.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeff Smith, a Columbus Republican, warns rejecting the bills could endanger the chance of any bond bill at all. He says Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves refuses to budge past total amounts now in bills.

Projects in $250 million bond bill considered by Legislature 

Mississippi could sell bonds to borrow $250 million to fund a list of projects in Senate Bill 2906. Some additional projects are contained in House Bill 1630. They include $18 million for a bridge in Vicksburg, another $12 million for an aquarium in Gulfport, $1 million to renovate an arts center in Greenville and $500,000 for a Catfish Row museum in Vicksburg.

Here are bond allocations in Senate Bill 2906:

Alcorn State University: $7.1 million.

Jackson State University: $8.5 million.

Mississippi University for Women: $6.5 million, including $1 million for new physical plant warehouse.

Mississippi State University engineering complex: $13 million.

MSU agriculture building for departments of animal and dairy science and poultry science: $12.1 million.

Mississippi Valley State University: $6 million.

University of Mississippi renovation of Johnson Commons East, Garland Hall, Hedleston Hall and Mayes Hall: $10 million.

University of Southern Mississippi: $8.5 million, including $3.5 million for Joe Earl Holloway Complex and College of Business Building at Gulf Park Campus.

Community colleges: $25 million.

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Museum of Mississippi History: Jackson: $20 million.

Ingalls Shipbuilding improvements, Pascagoula: $20 million.

Mississippi Development Authority ACE Fund $15 million.

City of Gulfport Aquarium Construction: $12.5 million.

New Mississippi Trade Mart and renovations to Mississippi Coliseum: Jackson $10 million.

Center for Manufacturing Technology Excellence at East Mississippi Community College, Mayhew: $10 million.

East Mississippi State Hospital Psychiatric Receiving Unit: $7.5 million.

Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital expansion: Jackson: $6 million.

Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center: Meridian: $5 million.

Viking refrigerator factory improvements: Greenwood: $5 million.

Louisville tornado matching funds $4.2 million.

Mississippi Development Authority Small Municipalities and Limited Population Counties: $4 million.

State building repairs: $4 million.

Mississippi Community Heritage Preservation Grant Fund: $2.85 million.

Rehab of Amory-to-Fulton Mississippian Railway: $2.6 million.

State park improvements: $2.4 million.

State Capitol repair and renovation $2.25 million.

City of Columbus recreational projects at Columbus Air Force Base: $2.25 million.

Lake Harbor Drive extension: Ridgeland: $1.5 million.

Lowndes County Equine Center: $1.2 million.

Taylorsville Water Supply and Georgia-Pacific chip mill access road: $1 million.

Elvis Presley Birthplace: Museum and Chapel: Tupelo: $1 million.

Rail Authority of East Mississippi: $1 million.

Jackson Zoo: $1 million.

Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services power distribution: $1 million.

Grammy Museum: Cleveland: $1 million.

Marty Stuart Center for Country Music: Philadelphia: $500,000.

Columbus City Hall renovation: $500,000.

Baldwyn U.S. 45 frontage road: $450,000.

Winterville Indian Mounds rehabilitation: Greenville: $300,000.

Wayne County Courthouse renovation: $250,000.

Wesson water tank: $250,000.

Pascagoula Maritime Museum improvements: $245,000

Amite County Elementary School HVAC: $200,000

City of New Albany recreation improvements: $175,000.

City of Bruce Multipurpose Building repair: $175,000.

City of McComb fire station construction: $175,000.

Hattiesburg Longleaf Trace improvements: $145,000.

Lake Hazle dam improvements, Hazlehurst: $105,000.

City of Bolton community center: $100,000.

Chickasaw County Heritage Museum: $100,000.

Tallahatchie County Courthouse renovation: $100,000.

City of Utica community center: $60,000.

City of Clinton historic markers: $50,000


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