Economic development talks set with PDD

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

A brainstorming session about stimulating economic development in Webster and Choctaw counties has been scheduled with the head of the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District. “We’re just trying to stir up some economic development for those counties,” Executive Director Rudy Johnson said in confirming the lunch meeting set for Tuesday at the PDD boardroom in Starkville. Johnson said he was not sure which governmental entities would be represented but that no action will be taken. Eupora Mayor Tommy Lott and some aldermen, during Monday night’s city board meeting, said they planned to attend. Members of the Webster County Board of Supervisors are also expected to attend and possibly some Choctaw County supervisors, according to discussion at the city board meeting. Johnson also indicated that Supervisor Put Cummings, president of the Webster County board, had arranged the meeting. The board of directors of the Webster County Development Council voted March 1 to dissolve the economic development corporation. The possibility of negotiating with the PDD for economic development services was mentioned by Cummings and others during a Feb. 9 meeting of the WCDC. “There’s no perceived agenda or topic other than trying to create some jobs (in Webster and Choctaw counties),” Johnson said of next week’s meeting. “What’s good for Choctaw is good for Webster and vice versa,” he went on to say. Referring to the pooling of resources, he said, “Regionalism is the way to go.” Expected topics of discussion, according to Johnson, are programs available through the PDD that the counties may not have considered and what can be done to stimulate economic development in both counties. “It’s going to be a learning curve. I don’t’ know what to expect (but) we want to help any way we can,” he said, by facilitating any thoughts, ideas and objectives the officials may have.