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Measure Would Tap Army Corps, EPA & EDA Resources for Urgent Water Infrastructure Work

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the recent collapse of the water system in Mississippi’s state capital, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today introduced legislation to authorize a multipronged federal approach to help the City of Jackson overcome long-neglected water infrastructure upgrades.

The Emergency Water Infrastructure Improvements Act would provide the city with assistance to repair its failing drinking water infrastructure through a combination of loans, loan forgiveness, and grants.  The bill also requires a percentage of funds to be used for purchasing and installing new water meters and modernizing water-billing systems.

“Providing safe and reliable drinking water is a local responsibility, but there are federal programs and funds available that can be used to address these type of problems.  I cannot sit back and watch Jackson schools, businesses, and residents go without water,” said Hyde-Smith, who in a recent Zoom meeting learned firsthand of the hardships experienced by students at the Mississippi Schools for the Deaf and the Blind in Jackson.

“My legislation would provide federal assistance to get Jackson on the path to providing the basic services its citizens require and deserve.  It is a responsible and worthwhile plan that will require the support of the Democrats in Congress and the administration to get it done, and I look forward to their cooperation,” she said.

The legislation would utilize resources and authorities of three agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Hyde-Smith proposes authorizing $47 million through the Army Corps of Engineers Section 219 program, which would allow the agency to provide assistance for the design and construction of environmental infrastructure projects.

The bill outlines specific stipulations regarding disadvantaged communities and natural disasters, which would provide Jackson with added benefits from the EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Loans programs.  Similarly, Jackson would benefit from provisions to use no less than $25 million in unobligated EDA Economic Adjustment Assistance grants funding to “eligible systems.”

“The weeks of hardship on Jackson residents is upsetting and completely unacceptable. Jackson’s water woes became a crisis with the February ice storm, but the hard truth is that the crisis was just waiting to happen after decades of neglecting necessary repairs and maintenance,” Hyde-Smith said.  “It’s time to put that neglect behind us and work toward fixing the problem.”

Emergency Water Infrastructure Improvements Act:  Bill Language and Summary. is an online news source serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi

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Patrice is married to Greg Boykin and they have two sons, Bradley & Alex Boykin. Patrice is a lifetime resident of Simpson County. Patrice retired after 25 years in the Insurance industry where 23 of those years were with State Farm Insurance in Magee. She is very active in the community and has served in several leadership roles. Patrice has been a Secretary for the Magee Touchdown Club for 19 years and President of the MS Scholars of Simpson County. Patrice was a member of the Magee Adopt A School Program. She was elected to a term on the Simpson County School Board. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Magee Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the Keep Magee Beautiful Committee and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Simpson County Technical Center. Patrice is a member of the Simpson County Republican Executive Committee. Multiple times, Patrice was named Parent of the Year for Magee Schools as well as District Parent of the Year for the Simpson County School District. Patrice & her family are members of New Hope Baptist Church.


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