Supervisors welcome new area development officer

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors began their Monday meeting welcoming the new economic development director for the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Development Foundation Garrick Combs.

Bill Jacobs, president of the IDF, introduced Combs to the board as “an excellent addition to our community.”

Combs spoke on his past experience working with the Franklin County Board of Supervisors.

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“I learned a deep appreciation for what’s in front of you and what’s on your plates,” he said addressing the board. “With that knowledge, combined with my further experience, I believe we will have a great working relationship.”

Combs highlighted his agenda as the new director, designating existing industry as his priority.

“That is the basis for which you recruit,” he said. “Eighty percent of investment growth comes from existing industry.”

District One Supervisor the Rev. Jerry Wilson commented, “I’m hoping you are a go-getter. Because we need jobs.”

District Four Supervisor Eddie Brown also chimed in.

“I would like to see you be the man to put the first industry in the new industrial park,” he said.

In other action, the board approved the pursuit of a Small Municipalities and Limited Population Counties Grant through the Mississippi Development Authority to assist with infrastructure needs in Bogue Chitto.

The grant would pay a maximum of $150,000 but requires a 10 percent match from the county, Jeff Dungan of Dungan Engineering explained.

Bogue Chitto is eligible due to its status as a “municipal historical hamlet.”

The board also discussed the possibility of renovating the old Keystone Seneca building due to requests from Waste Pro, the current lessee, to provide an area for their offices as well as a garage to repair vehicles.

Waste Pro currently holds the contract for garbage collection in Lincoln County and the county has leased the property to them since October.

Dungan explained that the county would not be eligible for an economic development grant for the renovations because Waste Pro is already in Lincoln County.

“[Those grants] are to lure people in,” he said.

Dungan suggested taking out a low-interest loan or “cap-loan” and using the rent received from the building to pay the interest.

An option was not decided on the matter, but the board agreed to pursue the issue further in meeting with Waste Pro officials.