Economic development is of importance

Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2018

Every long time resident of Picayune and Pearl River County knows where we can get the things we need or want close to home.

We also know that there are just some things that can only be purchased by taking a trip to a neighboring city or worse yet, ordering them from the Internet.

Ideally, we would be able to find any product or service we need within the limits of the county.

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But our rural nature, which is a benefit, lends to a shortage of some of the businesses and industries that would provide access to those goods and services.

While we are willing to take a short trip across state lines to Slidell, or even head north up Interstate 59 to Hattiesburg to get the things we need and want, we are less willing to allow our area to become as congested as those places.

Traffic is a nuisance. Over development results in less wooded areas where we can hunt, ride four-wheelers and essentially enjoy the beauty of nature.

However, there is a happy medium. We have the power to set aside those areas dear to us so we can continue to take our children into the great outdoors and teach them the things our ancestors taught us. At the same time, we can designate areas for further development, such as Highland Parkway.

Increased economic development within our beautiful corner of the world will lend to more jobs, keeping young people closer to home when they go out in search of a career.

It will increase the tax base, result in additional services and eventually lower ad valorem taxes. While it is nice to get out and enjoy the restaurants and services offered in other towns, we should remember that Pearl River County is just as enticing. All we have to do is sell it as such.