NEW: Miss. still to spend $872M in Katrina money - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

NEW: Miss. still to spend $872M in Katrina money

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Eight years after Hurricane Katrina slammed the Gulf Coast, Mississippi still hasn't spent almost $1 billion in federal money dedicated to recovery from the storm.

The remaining $872 million is part of $5.5 billion Congress gave the state to rebound from the 2005 storm.

More than half the unspent money is allotted to a hotly debated plan to expand the state-owned Port of Gulfport, and millions more are allocated for projects that have yet to materialize.

One project — a parking garage in Starkville near the Mississippi State University football stadium — is more than 200 miles from Katrina's landfall.

State officials say spending is slow because of federal rules. Some money wasn't released until recently, but state officials say they plan to complete most work within two years.

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