Officials to discuss regional economic development
by Associated Press
Published: September 10,2012
MAYHEW — Officials from Oktibbeha, Lowndes and Clay counties are to unveil plans for new regional development initiative at a meeting Sept. 14 at East Mississippi Community College in Mayhew.
In July, economic developers announced the formation of a steering committee representing the three counties charged with developing a partnership proposal by mid-September.
Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors president Marvell Howard tells the Starkville Daily News the forum will focus on organizing, funding and implementing a consortium.
“We really want to lay out plans for the vision and intention that the steering committee has for true regional development,” Howard said. “There are some time schedules built into (this proposal) and there certain marks we want to hit at specific times (if the project goes forward).”
Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said the potential endeavor could establish a level of regional cooperation the Golden Triangle — West Point, Columbus and Starkville — has never experienced.
“I think this effort is seen as an opportunity for the Golden Triangle to win and to win bigger than any one community can do on its own. This could allow each community to build upon its own strengths with the strength of the entire region.
“No one community has everything in terms of assets that attract economic development. By combining the assets of the entire Golden Triangle, we will all benefit,” Wiseman said.
The proposed new tri-county economic development authority comes four months after the West Point-Clay County Community Growth Alliance and the Columbus-Lowndes LINK signed a three-year affiliation agreement.
The agreement kept the Growth Alliance as West Point’s and Clay County’s chamber of commerce, while placing all economic development responsibility with the LINK.
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