City announces Project Pride II

By Staff
NEW BEGINNING Mayor John Robert Smith introduces Hazel Bell to the media Thursday at the kick-off of Project Pride II, a federally funded project to rehabilitate single-family housing units. In the background, planning manager Don Jimerson listens.Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
March 22, 2002
Hazel Bell stood on her front porch Thursday morning, chatting and joking with Mayor John Robert Smith and other city officials.
Bell, a longtime resident of Meridian, talked about the city's history, her children, her budding azaleas and even her famous homemade cornbread.
Smith and other city officials were at Bell's small home on 30th Avenue to announce that it would be the first of 10 single-family units to be refurbished during Project Pride II a federally funded project coordinated by the Mississippi Development Authority.
In Meridian, the project will come in two phases. MDA officials will oversee and inspect repairs on the first three homes, then authorize the city to complete work on the remaining seven. All 10 homes are in an area bordered to the north and south by 12th and 20th streets, and to the east and west by 29th and 34th avenues.
The project's goal: To make every home safe and sanitary by doing such repairs as plumbing, electrical work, roof work and painting.
The mayor said repairs on the first three homes should be complete within four months. Bell's home should be done sometime next month.
The next two houses scheduled for work are Leo Faulkner's on 32nd Avenue and Eunice Steele's on 33rd Avenue.
Project Pride I was initiated during Smith's first term in office, 1994-1996. In that project, city workers improved parks, repaired houses and relocated some families who lived in dilapidated buildings. Project Pride I involved an $800,000 investment between 34th and 43rd avenues.

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