Monday, December 27, 2021

Bigger Pie Forum: Allocating Mississippi's $1.8 Billion ARPA Funds

 This upcoming legislative session promises to be a contentious but historic one as lawmakers allocate $1.8 billion in federal funds given to the state.

On December 2, President Joe Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Act, with Mississippi due to receive $1.8 billion of that.  Mississippi municipalities could receive more than $371 million according to estimates from the national lobbying group for cities, the National League of Cities.

The good news for Mississippi is this one-time infusion of borrowed dollars could help the state make huge strides with infrastructure repair and construction, especially when it comes to water, sewage and broadband.

Gov. Tate Reeves wants $200 million from the ARPA funds to be spent on broadband expansion.

Broadband is already a space where federal money is helping expand service to the underserved and the unserved.  The Federal Communications Commission has already provided grants for broadband providers to expand service to rural areas through its Connect America Fund.

Last year, the Public Utilities Staff managed a $75 million grant program using federal funds from earlier COVID-19 relief packages.  The staff allocated the funds to 15 non-profit electric power associations and four conventional broadband providers to extend service to nearly 17,000 rural households with 5,847 miles of fiber optic cable.

The pandemic proved that expanding broadband service to rural areas allows residents to work and learn from home.  Having broadband service would also improve healthcare outcomes for rural residents as telemedicine and even pacemakers require broadband service for maximum efficacy.

This could have an economic impact as many city residents left for rural and suburban areas during the COVID-19 pandemic and could be lured to rural areas in Mississippi that had suffered big losses in the latest U.S. Census.

Sixty-four of the state’s 82 counties had at least some population loss and providing broadband service could be a powerful economic incentive.

Water and sewer infrastructure is another area where ARPA money could provide improvements for what Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann termed “transformational and generational.”

Jackson is an example of a city that has severe infrastructure needs, with $100 million needed to repair the city’s broken distribution system and $70 million for improvements at the city’s two water treatment plants.  Getting funds to cities like Jackson that are under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scrutiny over their water and sewer systems could ease the financial burden imposed on residents.

Other cities have needs as well. The Mississippi Municipal League told the state’s Senate subcommittee on ARPA funds that a matching grant program would be helpful for cities and towns that need to replace aging pipes, such as those with lead issues.

Other funds could be used to help rural water associations improve service to their existing customers and extend service to those forced to use wells for their water needs.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for governments to fix big systemic problems that have frustrated citizens for decades.  Lt. Governor Hoseman’s suggestion to focus on “transformational and generational” improvements is good advice.


Bigger Pie Forum authored and sponsored this post.


Anonymous said...

Why not give $600.00 to each man, woman, and child in the state, or does our all knowing various political hacks know better ways to spend it? You can bet portions will be allocated for political trips, a la Paris air shows for various state “leaders” in representatives.

Soo-ee, Let's Go Brandon said...

There will be lots of palm greasing at the swine trough, and more bribing people with their own money.

Anonymous said...

@10:27 This is a bad take. Yes, lets give a paltry $600 to Mississippians so they can go to their local wally world and waste it on that camel meat they call beef. Then those same people will complain that Mississippi is last in everything and about how the nearby sewer line overflows when it rains. Will some of this ARPA money be misspent? Absolutely it will, but in some areas enough money might actually trickle down to do some good.

Anonymous said...

Dear Legislature:

Jackson's population based share is ~$93.4 million.


Anonymous said...

The legislative trough will over flow with $$$$$ , the hog's are squealing now.

Anonymous said...

Attn 11:02 which elected position do you hold? You and others like you are the reason we are hemorrhaging population, especially from the delta.

Soo-ee Paris or Bust said...

The airport commissioners will be able to afford to fly to Paris in first class, stay in a 5-star hotel,with limo service, and enjoy the best hookers that money can buy via a side trip to Amsterdam, right?

Anonymous said...

Invest it all in the Bean Path JXN Tech District being built near JSU that Kingfish has yet to mention on his little blog. Therefore, all you suburban hillbillies are completely ignorant of what is coming to the Capitol City.

Anonymous said...

The tech Farish St can self-fund.

Anonymous said...

Delbert Hoseman is promoting Jackson simply bc he lives in NE Jackson with the rest of the cake eaters with family and friends attending CC events river hills gatherings and private schools. Come on guys pony up yourself. Don’t use my money to pay for your wants.

Anonymous said...

Once in a generation event? What a load of shit! It’s borrowed money from China and other countries that dislike us. It’s the next step towards bankruptcy for the United States. Oh and now we will use the money to fix things? Bullshit! There’s over a hundred billion missing from the last democratic free for all. This is the stupidest crap I’ve seen. If the U.S. were a business it would have defaulted years ago. So what’s different now you ask? The difference is the public is just as stupid as the politicians that spend more money than they can print. People are completely indifferent to the dollar becoming absolutely worthless. Like there’s never going to be a price to pay, just gimmy more! Insanity!!!

PittPanther said...

I'm confused.

Shouldn't a conservative majority Mississippi legislature vote to send all this money back to DC?
Because conservatives are all against Build Back Better, aren't y'all?

Take No Prisoners said...

Have you ever seen a bunch of starving wild hogs react to slop being poured out of a five gallon bucket? Then just as they're about ten inches from the slop, corral them all with steel mesh and snatch the slop and watch them eat each other.

Anonymous said...

@12:53 - you think the entity that prints our money will run out of that money? Try again.

Anonymous said...

Loss of 0.2% is not a hemorrhage.

Krusatyr said...

Our Unclothed Boy Emperor, precious pimp, has centered his whole raison d'etre around prostrating himself to beg for a federal pity bailout, rather than developing a business climate to create real wealth. BTW, how much of this fiat paper will get snatched by the Socrates Opportunity Cartel (SOC)?

Anonymous said...

2:30, did you learn your math in one of those fine Delta public schools? The delta's hemmoraging is closer to 9%, not 0.2%.

And, 11:20 - if you are not the same person, you evidently learned your math (or failed to learn might be a better description), if one was to use only population as a 'fair share' calculator, the proper number for Jackson would be slightly more than twice what your calculations produced. Closer to $193 million, not $93 million. For your simplistic mind, I would suggest that you failed to carry the "1", except that the math process involved here doesn't include that in the process.

Anonymous said...

"You and others like you are the reason we are hemorrhaging population, especially from the delta."

Sorry you failed reading comprehension. The reference to the Delta above was a secondary reference. 6018 lost in statewide population. NOT a hemorrhage. Nor is population that simply moves from one area of the state to another area within the state.

Try harder.

Carry the 1? LMAO said...

Mississippi ARPA = $1,800,000,000

Mississippi 2020 population = 2,961,279

ARPA $ per 2020 person = $1,800,000,000/2,961,279 = $607.84 per

Jackson 2020 population = 153,701

ARPA total for Jackson based on population = $607.84*153,701 = $93,425,615.84

You must be a graduate of the Chokwe Antar Lumumba magnet school for remedial mathematics.

anonamouse said...

I would not give one penny to Jackson. It will only be wasted, stolen, or chokeway will come up with a plan to enrich himself, his cronies, or both.

Anonymous said...

3:28 - you try harder. Check the numbers of the different areas that lost population. How many of the 60,000 fewer folks left from the Delta?

Dr. Kildare said...

It pains me to say this, but there are obviously some infrastructure projects that probably need to be addressed, however it is hard to imagine that none of the people commenting on this article have mentioned the desperate plight of Mississippi's rural hospitals. Nor was the Mississippi Hospital Association mentioned in the article which leads one to believe that organization is not representing those that fund its existence.This money is nothing more than yet another governmental boondoggle, and how many of my fellow readers really think that Mississippi has the leadership to see that this money is properly spent and accounted for? Asking for several friends.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi did not lose 60,000 people. Thompson's congressional district did and you could easily attribute nearly 1/3 of Thompson's loss to Jacksonians jamming the exits out of the failing capital city. Jackson isn't the Delta but some parts of Jackson look as bad as the Delta, or worse.

Anonymous said...

@5:29, the MS Hospital Assn that you so praise really only represents the five or six biggies of the group; the poor rural hospitals who pay their membership dues to the association are hardly represented - but are overrun by the metro-area beomoths.

Besides, the ARP dollars cannot be used to support the hospitals, they got their own handouts in another one of Biden's spendthrift passouts. You talk of 'governmental boondoggles, but yet you seem to be promoting that the boondoggle should be going to your favored entities. Nice!

Anonymous said...

The estimated population loss numbers on Wikipedia for the 3 largest Mississippi delta towns are as follows
Greenville ms. Minus 15.5%
Greenwood ms. Minus 10.8 %
Clarksdale ms. Minus 17.1
I don’t know why these numbers have not been officially released, but I think it starts at the White House.

Anonymous said...

The only reason it isn’t worse is the white flight into Mississippi from the memphis area.

Dr. Kildare said...

@11:24pm - This is from 5:29. Please reread my post. You and I probably share the same opinion of the MS Hospital Association. I am in no way praising the MS Hospital Association. I personally think they are doing a very poor job. I live "in the sticks" in southeast MS; I have no idea where you live, but people in my little hamlet would much prefer a well funded hospital to a road if they really need medical care. I am not promoting any boondoggle; our government has totally screwed up the country in the name of "public health".

Anonymous said...

It's feeding time for the lobbyists and political rainmakers.

They'll get that money spent.

Beef plants and power plants.

“Wooo Pig Sooie”

Anonymous said...

"white flight into Mississippi"

I must admit I never dreamed I would see those four words in that order in my lifetime ;-)

Anonymous said...

The flight into NoMississippi is economic for jobs. Period. FedEx, for example, has been busing workers from the Delta to Memphis daily for close 3 years now. Think those are only white workers? Take your race baiting act elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Spending any significant portion of this money on Jackson is a complete waste -- throwing good money after bad.

We desperately need a functioning capital city. Cities are where growth happens. But the only way massive infrastructure spending in Jackson could ever be justified is it were part of a larger, Marshall Plan style takeover, which nobody has the stomach for.

If tomorrow morning we woke up and Jackson's water and sewer systems were magically the envy of the world, still no sane business or family would move there while crime, public education, roads, and general governance were such utter disasters.

Anonymous said...

@3:11PM, are you pouting?

Anonymous said...

You're not paying attention, 12:08, if you aren't aware of white-flight out of the Memphis SMSA into Desoto, Tate and Marshall counties. It's going at least on 20 years. And, naturally, Memphis-sponsored crime has followed into those same areas of Mississippi.

This has nothing to do with the subject of this thread, but it's also true that thousands from the Memphis area cross into Mississippi to shop for groceries and anything else that involves state sales tax. When Tater and the boys get their State sales Tax Increase, that will stop. For those of you who have never been outside Hinds, Madison or Rankin County, drive into Desoto County and look at all the Tennessee tags at every retail outlet. Don't know if Tater, Dogbart, Gunner and Gerard have thought about that.

Gimme Some Den Gimme More said...

I totally agree with 1:14. Although we will absolutely ration a large amount of this money to Jackson - It would be akin to outfitting the Titanic with new brass railings and gold-embossed deck chairs while the vessel was listing mightily to the starboard side.

And if Jackson does not get it's 'fair share' (as determined by the Justice Department), liberal lawyers will head south to occupy every hotel room in the city.

And we thought Jesse Jackson was a shakedown artist.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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