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Supes agree to provide $10M for Communiversity


LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins

LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins



Nathan Gregory



Lowndes County supervisors have agreed to a new three-year contract with the Golden Triangle Development LINK to represent the county's industrial development interests. 


They also agreed to commit $10 million toward a new workforce training facility for East Mississippi Community College. The county will pay $666,666 a year for 15 years in debt financing. EMCC incurs the debt and the county helps pay it off. 


The three-year LINK deal requires the county to pay $350,000 each year to the organization for its services. The county is expected to request that the city of Columbus contribute $120,000 of that amount each year in a future meeting.  


LINK officials unveiled plans for the $38 million facility for EMCC last month. The proposed 133,690-square-foot structure will be located near the Golden Triangle Regional Airport exit off Highway 82. It is designed to be a significant upgrade over EMCC's current workforce training center on the Mayhew campus. The land is on a 12-acre site previously donated to the school.  


LINK consultant Malcolm Portera, EMCC Vice President for Workforce Training Raj Shaunak and LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins were present to request funding for Communiversity during today's supervisors meeting. They asked for and received support from Clay County supervisors last week to commit $1 million over 15 years. They will go to Oktibbeha County supervisors next week to ask them for a $2.5 million commitment as well as a new three-year contract. 


There is no item on the Columbus City Council agenda for today's 5 p.m. meeting regarding a request from the county to contribute toward the new contract with the LINK. 


For more information on today's board of supervisors and city council meetings, see Wednesday's edition of The Dispatch.


Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.



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