July 16, 2013 11:15:56 AM
Nathan Gregory - [email protected]
The newly formed Clay County Economic Development District performed its first major order of business Monday -- the authorization to purchase up to $11 million in parcels needed for Yokohama Tire Company to build its plant.
An omnibus resolution passed by the board acquires numerous tracts from residents in the vicinity of the Prairie Belt Powersite where Yokohma plans to build its facility.
Golden Triangle Development Link CEO Joe Max Higgins said after the meeting that the district's approval paves the way for the property to be officially purchased Thursday.
The five Clay County supervisors, who also act as CCEDD trustees, each appointed one person to serve on the new board along with two at-large members.
The seven-man committee includes Milton Sundbeck, Kyle Chandler, Larry Barton, Bennie Jones, Jim Murray, Tom Epps and former West Point Mayor Scott Ross. Ross was voted district president. Epps was appointed vice chair.
Higgins also provided the board with an update on the Yokohama project. Last week, the global tire manufacture selected Georgia-based Kajima Associates/Architects & Engineers to design and build the first phase of the plant. Completion of that phase, which is scheduled for October 2015, would provide 500 jobs. The full project is scheduled for completion in 2023 and is expected to provide 2,000 jobs total.
Yokohama will spend $300 million on its new location. State legislators passed a $130 million incentive package -- $70 million for the first phase and $60 million for the other three -- in April to bring the company to Mississippi.
The Link worked closely with the Japan-based manufacturer to reach the agreement.
Once complete, the facility's phase is expected to provide enough capacity to make a million tires a year.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.