TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- County supervisors from across Mississippi met in Tupelo Tuesday to put together a legislative agenda that they hope will lead to more roads and bridges being built, especially in rural areas of the state.
Members of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors heard from state Rep. Robert Johnson, the chairman of the Mississippi House Transportation Committee.
"You cannot talk about infrastructure, creating jobs, creating a better tax base if you don't have the funds or the resources to maintain your roads and bridges," said Johnson.
He was applauded for his comments.
The supervisors who attended the meeting are from 75 of the state's 82 counties.
"The biggest issue we have is probably funding for a local system bridge program. That's a huge issue," said Mississippi Association of Supervisors Executive Director Derrick Surrette. "We normally receive $20 million a year for that program. These are your small rural bridges that are in great need of repair that are not eligible for the fuel tax money."
"And the bridges are not up to par to hold up our school buses, our fire trucks, our school buses and for all our farmers getting their crops out. We're just trying to get some legislation passed to where we can get some help with these bridges and for our fire protection," replied Barney Wade, an association board member and a Calhoun County supervisor.
"With the economy the way it is, we need to get all the information we can to take back to our respective districts," said Kary Ellington, a supervisor from Attala County.
"Our roads and bridges are bad," said Trent Hudson, a supervisor from Jefferson County. "....This is an educational session. That's what we are here for — to learn how we can get those additional funds."
This is said to be one of the largest turnouts in recent memory for what's referred to as the fall workshop.
The Lee County Board of Superivors is playing host.
"308 people are registered here. That's a big turnout for Lee County," said Lee County Supervisor Tommy Lee Ivy, an association education board member.
The supervisors were scheduled to tour the Community Development Foundation building as well as have dinner at the Tupelo Automobile Museum Tuesday evening.