Board holds two executive sessions on economic development

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 24, 2017

As soon as the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors meeting opened Wednesday morning, the Board approved a motion to go into executive session to discuss economic development.
When the Board meeting reopened to the public, the Board took no action on any matters discussed during the executive session.
Later, the Board discussed a meeting held the day before about forming a county economic development council.
Although some members of the Board expressed interest at Tuesday’s meeting about taking action to establish the council, no motions were made Wednesday.
Board President Sandy Kane Smith said he hopes to get representatives from the two municipalities and the county together for a workshop to present information about the council and the next steps required.
“We need to explain to them what we’re trying to do in this county,” Smith said. “And unite everybody as one to push this forward.”
The Board entered into another executive session at the end of the meeting to discuss more economic development matters concerning the sale of county land. No action was taken on the matter after the Board returned to open session.
In other matters, the Board discussed five property tax objections.
Pearl River County Tax Assessor Gary Beech said those objections didn’t include information to back up the objection claiming the property was over-assessed.
The Board voted to deny the objections, but asked Beech to further investigate one objection made by Heritage Plastics in Picayune that alleged the assessed value was more than construction costs.
In a separate matter, the Board voted to set a public hearing for Sept. 20 to discuss abandoned RT Lee Road.
The Board also tabled bids for roof repairs to the old Department of Human Services building, which has been leaking for months, County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said.
The county received two prices to fix the problem, averaging about $26,000.
The Board also heard from local agritourism advocate and owner of Shroomdom Farms Leilani Rosenbaum about the growing industry.
“I want to push Pearl River County as Mississippi’s agritourism destination,” she said.
Rosenbaum said she’s seen growing support from businesses in Hancock County, but would like to see more industries and markets in Pearl River County benefit from and support the agritourism industry.
“Our biggest issue is we have no place for visitors to stay,” she said, adding that investing in a place where visitors could house their horses and dogs while visiting Pearl River County would benefit tourism.
“We’re going to be number one at something good y’all and it’s agritourism,” Rosenbaum said. “It’s time to move forward and do something different.”
Rosenbaum said she expects to host people from the state agritourism board and hopes to show them the uniqueness of Pearl River County agriculture.
More information about Wednesday’s meeting will be published in Friday’s Item.

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About Julia Arenstam

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