TVA pays $1 million for Kemper road work

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
April 18, 2001
DEKALB Officials here say Monday marked the "last major milestone" in convincing the Tennessee Valley Authority to build a power plant in Kemper County.
Mike McGrevey, executive director of the Kemper County Economic Development Authority, said TVA officials have not yet issued a formal announcement.
TVA officials said last fall their record of decision was not expected until May 1 and that plant construction could begin the next day.
At a regular meeting Monday, Kemper County Engineer Terrell Temple and Kemper County Road Manager Glenn Williams gave supervisors an update on Cobb Road where the proposed site for the power plant lies about a mile north of Highway 16.
McGrevey said the order came from TVA officials to "immediately proceed" with almost $1 million in upgrades to the road, all funded by TVA.
McGrevey said county crews are expanding and straightening the road.
Supervisors also got an overview Monday from State Sen. Sampson Jackson, D-DeKalb, on recent legislation affecting Kemper County.
McGrevey said Jackson talked about signed bills increasing homestead exemption rates, increasing the number of state inmates from 200 to 230 in regional correctional facilities and authorizing the use of up to 25 percent of State Aid funds to maintain and upgrade rural roads.
Granger said Jackson also informed the board there will be no raises for county officials, which "we can't afford anyway, especially not for ourselves."
Dr. Mable Murphy, Mississippi Appalachian Region Commission director, announced Kemper County will receive a $10,000 grant to develop a strategic plan for improving health systems, telecommunications and other infrastructures.
She told supervisors that specialists from ARC's main office in Washington D.C. would be visiting Kemper County to help develop the plan and to gain "first-hand knowledge" of the challenges and issues in this region.
McGrevey, who has been acting as interim county administrator, said Hazel Johnson's first day in the administrator's position "confirmed what we already knew that she's top-notch." He said she is a fast learner and an asset to the team.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at