The city of Eupora was appropriated $100,000 for an industrial access road in the 2019 legislative session, state Rep. Joey Hood announced Monday.
“This critical funding streamlines economic development and opportunities for shovel-ready jobs right here in District 35. It will allow for the construction of an access road off of Industrial Park Boulevard, which will as a result give an industrial site direct access off of U.S. Highway 82,” said Hood.
Lara F. Bowman, executive director of The Enterprise of Mississippi, said the funding for an industrial access road will help to further develop the western portion of the Eupora Industrial Park.
“The road will allow for direct access into the site off of Highway 82,” she said. “This access road will coincide with water and sewer lines being installed into this site.”
Bowman said funding for the Eupora Access Road opens up new opportunities for industrial recruitment into Webster County.
“This industrial property will now be accessible directly from four-lane U.S. Highway 82, creating the only site between U.S. Highway 45 and Interstate 55 with access off of U.S. Highway 82,” she stated. “The Enterprise appreciates Rep. Hood’s diligence to advancing economic development in Choctaw and Webster counties by aiding in developing the Eupora Industrial Park for recruitment of new industry to the area.”
The Enterprise is a regional economic development organization composed of Choctaw and Webster counties.
Hood continued, “This project strengthens the economic development environment in Webster County and creates additional opportunism for even more good-paying needed jobs here in District 35. Local projects led by the diligent efforts of local elected officials and The Enterprise are vital to the success of the local job market.
“I have enjoyed working alongside these local leaders to provide this funding, and I look forward to seeing it through to completion as it is another step toward our continuing efforts to make District 35 a better place to live, work and raise a family.”
Hood first announced the appropriation during a brief presentation to the mayor and Eupora Board of Aldermen at their April 1 meeting. Aldermen took related action regarding the industrial park on May 6, when Bowman and Planner George Crawford of the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District appeared before the board.
At Bowman’s request concerning the access road funding, aldermen authorized a resolution declaring the necessity to issue bonds, a letter of support and a new bank account.
The resolution requests the Department of Finance and Administration to adopt a resolution to declare the need to issue $100,000 in state general obligation bonds for the city to assist the project. The resolution, signed by Mayor Lamar Dumas, will be presented to the state Bond Commission.
The letter of support, according to Bowman, states the city will provide a local match of $15,000 to show it is committed to developing the industrial park. The match will come from the city’s Economic Development fund. The separate bank account is required to house project funds.
Bowman also said a land swap will be necessary because the city does not own one parcel of property that is needed.
Crawford met with the board regarding the city’s application to the Appalachian Regional Commission for a grant to extend utilities at West Industrial Park through the ARC Southern Automotive Aviation Workforce program. This involves the aforementioned water and sewer lines to be installed into the site.
Aldermen voted in December to adopt a matching resolution of at least 30% of the total cost of the project. Crawford told them last week the city’s total commitment would be $260,500. The board authorized the mayor to sign a letter to ARC regarding commitment of those matching funds.
News Editor Russell Hood contributed to this report.