Pearl River County receives grant from Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Dr. Ted Alexander and Sid Whitley of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation were at the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday to present the county with a grant to update the county’s strategic plan.

Alexandersaid in presentation he read to the board,“This grant of $10,538, approved by the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation’s board of directors, is the continuation of a long relationship between our foundation and the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors in working toward the establishment of a suitable strategic plan for community, economic, and quality of life development for the citizens of Pearl River County.”

Julia Anderson, a planner with the county’s Office of Planning and Development, said in a phone interview Tuesday that the grant will be used in conjunction with a $30,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to pay for a consulting firm to help update the county’s existing strategic plan.

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The county first received grant money from the Lower Pearl River Foundation in 1999 as part of a request from the board of supervisors and the cities of Poplarville and Picayune. The foundation has provided funds to the board for the long-range strategic plan, the new Pearl River County Health Department Building facility on U.S. 11 in Carriere, the Building and Regulatory Codes Implementation Guide, and the current update of the strategic plan.

Anderson said the county has hired URS Corporation as the consulting firm for the project.

Altogether, the county has received approximately $300,000 from the foundation for the various projects over the past 10 years or so, Anderson said.

“Certainly we commend the Board of Supervisors for your leadership and your ability to ‘hang in there’ to be sure that the plan encompasses as much as possible to provide a better quality of life for the people you serve. It is very important work, and not everyone will agree with every component that you are trying to include to prepare for Pearl River County’s growth,” Alexander said in his presentation.

The county strategic plan, which can be viewed on the county’s website, was started by the board of supervisors in 1999 as a project to “provide direction for the future,” Anderson said. “Strategic plans are designed to last about five years, and it’s time to update,” she said.

The county’s growth in recent years also has contributed to the need for the update, Anderson said.