George County supervisors visit Washington to update legislators on Lake George project

George County supervisors walked the halls of Congress last week to personally update lawmakers on the Southeast Mississippi Water Supply Project, or Lake George.

Supervisors sat down with U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker and Reps. Steven Palazzo and Gregg Harper over three days of meetings.

“Our main point: Lake George is further along in planning right now than ever before,” said Supervisor Kelly Wright, board president.

George County officials walked the halls of Congress last week to update lawmakers on Lake George. Shown left to right are Supervisors Larry McDonald and Henry Cochran, Chancery Clerk Cammie Byrd, and Supervisors Kelly Wright and Fred Croom. (Submitted photo)

“By the end of the year, we will submit the permit application for this water supply project to several key agencies,” he said. “We have to keep our congressmen updated on projects of this size.”

Representatives of the Jackson County Board of Supervisors and Pat Harrison Waterway accompanied George County officials to the meetings to show their support for the $50 million water project.

The about 3,000-acre reservoir is meant to reinforce the water supply to Jackson County industries — especially during drought conditions — and stock potable water to the area for decades, while also providing recreational opportunities.

The county has a field team of biologists, archeologists and geologists studying several areas where the lake could be located, and those results will go into the county’s permit application.

The congressional delegation last week welcomed the visit and gave “good, positive responses,” Wright said.