July 5, 2009
Tim Pratt -
STARKVILLE -- Outgoing Starkville Mayor Dan Camp on Thursday issued a veto of the revised Lynn Lane multi-use path project.
The revised plan, which the city''s Board of Aldermen had approved 4-3 on Tuesday, showed a path that would begin at Sycamore Street, head through McKee Park and circle the Sportsplex on Lynn Lane. It was contrary to original plans for the path, which would have connected McKee Park to Mississippi State University.
Contacted Friday, Camp said he issued the veto because the revised project wouldn''t connect Mississippi State with McKee Park.
"It has deviated away from what its original intentions were," Camp said.
The city was approved for a $1.2 million Federal Highway Administration grant, which would be distributed through the Mississippi Department of Transportation for the project, but the city also would have to provide more than $300,000 in matching funds.
"I didn''t feel like it was a good expenditure of taxpayer money," Camp said.
Camp also cited the fact that the project has been in the works for more than three years and has been pushed back time and time again due to delays and funding issues.
The city initially thought it could provide its matching funds in the form of in-kind services, but was told last winter it would have to provide cash. The project then went on the back burner until the Board of Aldermen this spring voted to contribute the city''s more than $300,000 share from its $3 million bond issue funds.
Plans for the path also shortened this spring. While the original plan was to go from McKee Park to Mississippi State, the rising cost of materials caused city officials to approve a revised plan which would end the path at the corner of South Montgomery Street and Locksley Way -- several blocks from the MSU campus.
Then engineering firm Neel-Schaffer told aldermen in June the whole scope of the project would have to change due to strict funding deadlines, which the city wouldn''t be able to meet because of environmental and right-of-way issues.
"It was just delay after delay after delay," Camp said.
The new Board of Aldermen, which officially takes office Monday, could vote to once again move forward with the project, contrary to Camp''s wishes.
The Board of Aldermen meets Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.