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County hiring consultants to gauge I-69/269 impact

HERNANDO — DeSoto County expects to sign a contract Nov. 15 with consultants who will help local officials determine how much economic gain they can expect along the Interstate 69/269 corridor.

The proposed route from Canada to Mexico will bisect DeSoto County east to west through Hernando, running some 30 miles from the Marshall County line to Tunica County.

DeSoto County planning director Jim McDougal says the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s timetable calls for obtaining right of way this year and next, with the start of construction in 2012.

[ITAL]The Commercial Appeal[ITAL] reports that McDougal envisions as much as $11.6 million in new county taxes rolling in yearly based on land values from the improved roadway.

The board of supervisors will consider a contract with the Cincinnati-based consulting firm McBride Dale Clarion. The project is funded by a $150,000 federal grant from the federal Economic Development Administration.

McDougall said the work will take about 18 months. He said the DeSoto Planning Commission will hold meetings starting early next year on issues ranging from economic development to utilities and green infrastructure.

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