July 9, 2014 10:52:10 AM
West Point selectmen voted unanimously to renew the city's agreement with Clay County and the Golden Triangle Development LINK for three more years.
The contract requires the city to pay $175,000 of a $350,000 annual fee to the LINK. Clay County pays the other half.
The previous contract entitled the LINK to 10 percent of fee-in-lieu proceeds to the city from properties that are not currently charged full taxes. The new agreement reduces that amount to 5 percent and requires a two-year notice before the contract can be terminated.
Also in the old contract was a provision that the city and county could opt out of the agreement in six months if LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins were to leave the LINK. The revised contract does not provide that option.
The city and county have benefited from their partnership with the LINK. Last year, state officials announced Yokohama Tire Company's first manufacturing plant on U.S. soil would be in Clay County. The plant, set to open next year, is expected to create 2,000 jobs over eight years and four phases with 500 per phase. The full facility will have 115 acres under one roof and be 1 million square feet by the time it is complete in 2023. It involves a $1.2 billion investment from the company and $130 million from the state in the form of general obligation bonds.
The renewed contract becomes effective Oct. 1.
City awarded HOME grants for first time
The city has been awarded a grant from the Mississippi Development Authority's HOME Investment Participation Program for the first time in its history. Selectmen approved to execute contracts with the state in the amount of $378,214 to demolish and rebuild four homes in the city.
Over the next four months, environmental studies will take place on the properties before the construction projects bids go out.
The MDA received $3.9 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the HOME program. It received more than $35 million in requests through grant applications.
Selectmen also approved three invoices for the elevated water tank currently being built that will serve the Yokohama plant. The invoices totaled $96,240. Appalachian Regional Commission grant funding will cover $28,708 of that amount. The remainder will be paid by county bond money.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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