Hernando defers road repair to keep from raising taxes

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HERNANDO, Miss. -- Nesbit road in Hernando is one of the city’s most traveled, and also one of the roads most in need of repair.

That’s why one alderman proposed a tax increase.

For now though, the mayor says that’s unlikely.

Hernando alderman approved almost half a million dollars for road repair in June, but that wasn’t enough to tackle all the city’s problem areas, like Nesbit Road just off Interstate 55.

Mayor Chip Johnson wants to hold off for federal grant money due next year.

”That road up there in Nesbit needs some attention. We’re trying to piecemeal it and save it until we can get this grant money in place.”

But not all aldermen agree. One even proposed raising taxes to tackle the city’s road repair and repaving sooner.

Alderman Jeff Hobbs proposed an extra five or six dollars a year from taxpayers.

A majority disagreed, with some advocating a loan, and others looking to recruit more businesses for extra tax money.

All agree the city’s roads need work. Commerce Street will get some attention soon, along with McInvale Road near Hernando High School.

Johnson says he’d love to push the projects up on the priority list, but there’s just not enough support for a tax increase.

”Our streets aren’t perfect, but they’re not totally falling apart either. So if you’re gonna raise taxes it has to be something really, really important and I don’t think this rises to that level.”

Johnson says law enforcement takes a large chunk of his budget, and no one wants to see cuts there.

He assures us the road repairs will happen, in order of priority, just as soon as he can allocate the money for it.