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Supervisors want to borrow money for future development

STARKVILLE — Oktibbeha County supervisors have passed a resolution to let the public know it will borrow $5 million when needed to support an economic development opportunity.

Supervisors took the action this week at the urging of the Golden Triangle Development LINK, a local economic development group. The county would borrow the money by issuing bonds.

Local residents will have until 10 a.m. June 3 to submit petitions calling for an election on the issue.

Officials said the county is more likely to attract major developments if spending authority is in place as an incentive for a large company to locate in Oktibbeha County.

Joey Deason, Oktibbeha County’s representative with the LINK, said the city of Starkville will be asked to make a similar commitment.

The money will be used to acquire land, update infrastructure and construct facilities.

“This puts us on the same playing field and gets us in line with the other counties that are part of the push tri-county economic development. We’ve been waiting for years to get into the game, and I think this does it,” said Supervisor John Montgomery. “It’s definitely priming the pump and getting things moving toward getting jobs for our county.”

Deason said such incentives came to play in Clay County’s recruitment of a tire manufacturer.

“Whenever the state level sees you want to put skin into the game, they’re willing to assist in a greater way. I think in today’s economic development market, you have to be creative. This gives us major flexing power for infrastructure and other elements needed to attract game-changing developments.

“This shows a buyer (a county) is ready and you have all the tools required. These economic bonds put us in the position so we can be creative and allow us to put our name on the marquee and say we’re open for business,” he said.


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