Desoto County News

Olive Branch to join MidSouth Development District

Aldermen also approve golf cart ordinance for city streets

Photo: The Olive Branch Board of Aldermen meets at the city’s Municipal Court Building.

Olive Branch aldermen Tuesday night voted to join the MidSouth Development District (MDD), a multi-state, multi-county organization of communities that will pledge working together to address infrastructure needs. 

Mayor Ken Adams proposed the agreement to the Board of Aldermen, stating it would be a collaborative effort to seek federal funds for roadways, waterways, broadband, data, and other items. It has been in operation since 1968. Adams told aldermen that Southaven and Hernando are also being asked about their inclusion, adding that he, Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite, and Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson have already been placed on the Board of Directors.  

The cost of MDD participation is proportional to population, placing the Olive Branch annual share at $3,971.10, Adams said.  The Mayor said a joint effort from MDD in making requests of federal funds to the U.S. Congressional Delegations of the Tri-State area are typically more successful since Senators and Congressmen appear to favor funding projects in other districts when their district is included.  

In his presentation to the Board, Adams noted the MDD has not been operating to its full potential in recent years but they plan to change that.  Relationships with counties and cities in the district are being re-established. 

Initiatives of the MDD underway include submission of a Thriving Communities grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation that, if awarded, would bring $200,000 directly to DeSoto County communities and fund a full-time project manager at MDD to work with the communities on further implementation of those projects and other regional initiatives.

In other action Tuesday night, aldermen approved a new ordinance that would allow the use of golf carts on certain streets in Olive Branch.   Golf carts would only be allowed on streets of 25 miles-per-hour or less. The measure basically incorporates all of the state requirements, including insurance, a maximum speed of 25 miles-per-hour, and golf carts would need to have turn signals and other lights. 

To be able to be used on the street, an owner would first have to bring the golf cart to the police department for inspection and then the placement of a city sticker once it passes inspection.  

The entire Board of Aldermen meeting is livestreamed on the city’s YouTube channel.

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