SW leaders tout community projects

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 18, 2008

County representative members of the Southwest MississippiPartnership gathered around the table Friday afternoon to updateone another on their counties’ progress.

Each county gave a progress report on recent developments intheir areas. Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of CommerceExecutive Vice President Cliff Brumfield told the group aboutLinbrook Business Park and the attention it has been drawing fromstate lawmakers.

“We had a good meeting at the Capitol with the governor and thelieutenant governor,” he said. “We plan to market this as asupersite.”

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Brumfield explained that other plans are under way for the site,including laying fiber-optic conduit, and a Linbrook Business Parkvideo being edited by Walt Grayson of WLBT. He said there had beenmany inquiries into the business park, including some from majorindustries.

“We’ve had a precursory look from a major industry, but we’re along way from the commitment stage, with a lot of bridges tocross,” said Brumfield. “We get a lot of first looks that are justthat.”

The park is still in the early stages, meaning developers willhave to be patient in waiting to see what industry it will bringinto Lincoln County.

Brumfield also touted the work on the community’s speculativebuilding, as the concrete work has finally been done.

“We’ve had a lot of cooperation from the (EnvironmentalProtection Agency) and the (Department of Environmental Quality).They’ve done a lot of testing to get the building clean,” hesaid.

Franklin County Economic Development Coordinator Richard Duckerreported that Franklin County has a potential client for itsindustrial park as well.

Monticello Mayor Dave Nichols said officials are grateful forthe advent of Lee’s Pigskins to Lawrence County.

“By this time next year, everyone who eats popcorn in theSuperdome will be eating popcorn that was popped in LawrenceCounty,” he said.

In addition, Monticello officials were in Washington D.C.recently to discuss county needs with Mississippi’s congresionaldelegation. He said they discussed further funding for work onHighway 84.

Nichols said he had received a call from the MississippiDepartment of Transportation. A project for development on Highways25 and 27 is set to move forward as well.

And on a lighter note, Nichols informed the group that theCharlie Daniels Band will headline this year’s Atwood Festival.

Woodville/Wilkinson County Main Street Association Manager PollyRosenblatt said Woodville sales tax is up 5 percent and localbusiness is picking back up.

“Several mom and pop shops have been opening and staying open,”she said.

The Southwest Mississippi Partnership is a 10-county group aimedat furthering economic development in the aouthwest part of thestate. Member counties include Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Franklin,Jefferson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Pike, Walthall and Wilkinson.