Despite sidewalk flap, Golden Triangle board says agency staying in Starkville

April 7, 2011 10:19:00 AM

Jason Browne - [email protected]


The Golden Triangle Planning and Development District isn''t going anywhere. 


Members of the GTPDD Board of Directors stated unequivocally Wednesday the agency will not move its offices to the former Wood Junior College in Webster County, which was purchased earlier this week for a reported $1.5 million. 


"The PDD is not moving," said Oktibbeha County District 2 Supervisor and GTPDD board member Carl Clardy. "The PDD will remain where it''s at. There may be some satellites (on the Wood College campus) that we don''t have room for." 


Clardy said he wasn''t sure if one of those "satellites" would include the proposed senior center slated for construction on Miley Drive. However, Oktibbeha County Administrator Don Posey, who is also a GTPDD board member, stated the board had not discussed that idea. Nor has it discussed the option of moving the entire GTPDD office to the northwest corner of its seven-county service area. 


GTPDD Executive Director Rudy Johnson wouldn''t rule out Wood College as a future home for the GTPDD, but acknowledged that decision would have to come from the board of directors. 


The senior center, according to Johnson, is on hold while the GTPDD and the city spar over constructing sidewalks in front of the new facility. Johnson has "promised" to move his 200-employee agency out of Starkville if the GTPDD is forced to build unconnected sidewalks in front of the new building per the city''s sidewalk ordinance, but again, that decision lies with the GTPDD board. 


"That''s not going to take place. It''s never been discussed," said Posey regarding relocating the GTPDD''s main office. "I think everyone''s happy with the PDD where it is. There''s too much invested here." 


Local officials point out that the cost of moving the GTPDD office to Webster County would far outweigh the $25,000 cost to build sidewalks in front of the proposed senior center. 


Johnson said pieces of the college may be developed and sold separately, but he would like to see the property rededicated to education. 


"We will look at our options and try to make sure it stays a college campus," he said.