Home Depot action helps build community’s future

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 25, 2004

Decisions by the city board of aldermen and county board ofsupervisors to assist in a plan to bring a Home Depot to Brookhavenrepresent the potential for a major leap forward in communitydevelopment.

Following last week’s action by the city board, developers saidthey anticipate construction starting around the first of year.That timetable would have the store opening sometime in the secondhalf of 2005.

Home Depot’s solid reputation should help it attract shoppersfrom across southwest Mississippi. Local officials hope the homeimprovement store spurs other development in the commercial areanear the intersection of Brookway Boulevard and Interstate 55.

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The store could also draw some shoppers away from existing localcompetitors, who made their concerns known as leaders contemplatedtheir participation in a financing plan for the Home Depot. Cityand county leaders acknowledged the potential drawbacks forexisting businesses but opted in favor of the additional jobs andtax revenue the Home Depot is expected to generate.

Those dollars will be needed to pay off a bond issue that willbe used to pay for infrastructure for the store site. Projectionsindicate property and sales taxes from the development will be morethan sufficient.

City and county leaders must hope so, or their coffers could benegatively impacted by the bond issue commitment.

While there was some disagreement on city-county debt serviceresponsibility, supervisors, the mayor and aldermen were able tocome together to support the Home Depot project. It’s a decisionthis community can hope will produce positive results for years tocome.