Officials discuss economic development

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

Elected officials from three counties, including Webster, gathered last week to discuss the possibility of forming a regional economic development organization. The board briefly discussed a meeting all five supervisors attended last week about the possibility of forming a regional economic development organization. The April 10 meeting in Starkville was with Executive Director Rudy Johnson of the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District. As reported April 5, he said the meeting was to be a brainstorming session about stimulating economic development in (at least) Webster and Choctaw, counties. According to local officials, all 10 supervisors from Webster and Choctaw counties attended, as did two from Oktibbeha. Eupora Mayor Tommy Lott said he and all five city aldermen, along with board attorney Hugh Gibson Jr., also attended, as did Mathiston Mayor Jimmy Carden and Mantee Mayor Mary Frances Baker. Johnson, contacted since the meeting for an update, would only say, “I’ve been waiting to hear from them.” Webster County board members, while discussing economic development Monday, said those attending agreed to appoint two people from each county (Webster, Choctaw and Oktibbeha) to a committee before a follow-up meeting. They said at least one appointee from each county is to be a supervisor. Paul Crowley (District 4) indicated that the committee’s purpose will be to “draw up some ground rules.” Supervisors took no related action Monday but agreed that the mayors of the four municipalities in the county should decide on the other appointee from Webster. The Board of Supervisors recessed until 8:30 a.m. April 30.