Economic development organization formation underway

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Despite shortfalls in funding, the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors is moving forward with the establishment of an economic development council.

According to previous coverage the organization aims to bring business and industry to the county and would require a total operational cost of $250,000 of which $150,00 has been budgeted by the county.

Previous promises by a prior Poplarville Board of Aldermen to provide $15,000 in funding were rejected by the current administration.

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Vice President Hudson Holliday said the city of Poplarville did not have enough money to fund the economic development organization and support operation of the municipal airport.

Currently, the Board of Supervisors will continue establishing the council with the resources currently available, County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said.

“We will work together to answer any request for proposals or inquires of businesses,” Holliday said.

Due to shortage in funding, the Board will be unable to hire an economic development director to oversee operations of the council.

The organization currently has a five-member board that will work to bring more business to the county. In the meantime the Board of Supervisors will seek additional funding options so a director can be hired, Holliday said.

Lumpkin said once the council begins work, one of their goals will be to seek funding avenues.

Picayune Mayor Ed Pinero said he currently unsure if the City Council will be able to provide funding for the Economic Development Council.

“From the economic development standpoint we will be there… we do support the organization and think it’s s great idea,” Pinero said.