Clay County establishing economic development district

July 13, 2013 6:44:37 PM

Nathan Gregory - [email protected]


To date, Clay County has not had an economic development district.  


That will change Monday when a seven-member Clay County Economic Development District board will hold its first meeting at 9 a.m. Monday at the Clay County Courthouse. The first item of business for the new entity will be to authorize the purchase of property worth approximately $10 million for the Yokohama tire plant, Golden Triangle Development Link CEO Joe Max Higgins said. 


"By statute, there's a lot of things you can do if you have (an economic development authority)," Higgins said. "They're actually going to be the entity that is going to own parts of the property, and they'll be in charge of the restrictive covenants." 


Higgins said he and attorney Chris Pace, who chaired the joint meeting between the Clay County Board of Supervisors and West Point Board of Selectmen when the two governing bodies agreed to an incentive package on April 26 to send to state legislators, will conduct general discussion on roles and responsibilities of district members. 


The Mississippi House and Senate agreed on a $130 million incentive package to bring the tire manufacturer to Clay County, where it will locate a plant that will create as many as 2,000 jobs. The first phase is set to be complete in October 2015 and will create 500 jobs. The company will make an investment of $300 million. 


Yokohama officials announced Thursday they selected Atlanta, Ga.-based firm Kajima Associates/Architechts & Engineers to oversee design of the project's first phase. 


Higgins said if the newly-created district agreed to acquire the property, the transaction would likely take place late next week. 


Along with its association with the Link, Lowndes County has its own industrial development authority (LCIDA) and Oktibbeha has an economic development authority (OCEDA).

Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.