Jackson Audit Completed, MDOT Could Soon Restore Funding

By ANTHONY WARREN,

Jackson’s audit has been completed and submitted to the state for review, meaning that road funding could again be flowing into the capital city.

Earlier this month, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) suspended funding for transportation projects in the city, after Jackson failed to complete its audit by the June 30 deadline.

Under federal law, the city had until that date to turn in the audit.

Because the deadline was not met, MDOT was forced to temporarily suspend funding for state and federally funded projects.

The suspension would have affected numerous projects on the Northside, including the North State Street Reconstruction Project and the Fondren Streetscape Project.

At the time, city officials said the audit wouldn’t be finished until July 31, and that the suspension likely wouldn’t be lifted until September.

Today, though, officials with the Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s administration announced that Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) had been completed, and had turned into the state for review.

Further, leaders say MDOT plans to expedite the process for restoring funding to the city.

“We’ve already asked them to lift the suspension, and we expect that it will be lifted very quickly,” said Chief Administrative Officer Robert Blaine. “They’ve already given us verbal confirmation.”

Blaine said the audit will be made public in short order once it is approved by the Jackson City Council.

“We’re trying to put that (on the agenda) for the next meeting,” he said.

The council’s next regular meeting is Tuesday, July 31, at City Hall.

The audit was delayed after new auditors found a number of discrepancies in the water billing department.

Blaine said those discrepancies have been addressed and that the auditors have given the city a clean report.

Last October, the city brought on Tann, Brown and Russ Co., of Jackson to conduct the audit.

The firm replaced Banks, Finley, White and Co., who had completed the CAFR for several years prior.

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