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Lafayette County Road Department paves 28 miles of local roads

The Lafayette County Road Department paved 28 miles of local roads or highways in the past year, which is an increase over past years, according to county officials.

The increase is thanks to the county’s $20 million investment from the sale of Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in 2012. The city of Oxford and Lafayette County both received $30 million when Baptist bought out of its lease so the hospital could build a new facility that’s expected to be open in November.

Lafayette County used $10 million to pay off all of its debt and invested the remaining $20 million. Each year, if the fund earns enough profit, the county uses about 3 percent of the earned revenue from the fund, and each year the county has elected to put those funds toward improving county roads.

“Roads have been one of our highest priorities and that’s been reflected by us not using hospital funds for anything else,” said Supervisor Kevin Frye.

The supervisors have agreed to put the Baptist funds toward roads again in the upcoming fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

The cost to pave the 28 miles of road was $1,635,755, according to County Administrator Lisa Carwyle.

The re-paving occurred on roads throughout all five districts in the county, Carwyle said Wednesday.

Frye said keeping county roads in good condition is not only a high priority for supervisors but for residents as well.

“For a good number of residents, having safe roads is their most significant need,” he said. “It’s one of our most visible functions of what we do for the community on a day-to-day basis.”