Thursday, May 10, 2007
Renick reports on IDA
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Industrial Development Authority is seeking inter-local agreements between municipal and county governments to develop potential industrial park sites for Toyota suppliers, according to Bill Renick, executive director.
He said industries looking for sites are seeking regional deals where local governments cooperate to provide services (site development and infrastructure).
Several sites already exist that could be attractive for large industrial employers - one in Byhalia and one in Holly Springs with rail access - but Renick anticipates a third site could be located near the West Holly Springs Exit. He said inter-local agreements between IDA, the county and City of Holly Springs would open the way for development of a site there and places elsewhere all along Highway 78, future I-22.
IDA would work with property owners interested in entering agreements with IDA, and planning grant money would be sought by the cooperating government entities and IDA, he said.
Byhalia and Potts Camp could be offered similar inter-local agreements with IDA, he said.
IDA would form a management committee for any new park developed and the cities and county would have representation on the committee, he said.
“The purpose of agreements is to turn everything over to an IDA management committee and the administration of it would be by IDA so you have a single agency to work with prospects,” he said, referencing the successful attraction of Toyota to Blue Springs by the Pontotoc/Union/Lee (PUL) Alliance which incorporated agreements with six municipalities.
“Somebody has got to take the lead if you are going to start up a new industrial park,” he said. “You’ve got to be sending signals out that everybody’s singing off a single sheet of music.”
Supervisors asked how zoning would be involved.
Renick said zoning is a tool in economic development and property would be rezoned by the existing zoning authorities (county or municipalities).
The inter-local agreements will bind local governments that sign on, but not change or supercede any state or local laws in place, he said.
“They (prospects) don’t want to go to three or four places to get an answer,” Renick said. “IDA will go to the three or four places to get the answer for them.”
Renick said for the cities and county to get ready for prospective growth, industrial sites should be selected and the soil testing and environmental impact tests should be done and paid for.
“You’ve got to invest money in that,” he said.
IDA also wants to look at land to buy, too, he said.
Private owners who sign on with IDA pay a 4 percent fee if their land sells, he said. Then IDA invests those fees in utilities and other infrastructure needs, as is done at Chickasaw Trails Industrial Park.
So far, three Toyota assembly plant suppliers have been looking at sites in Marshall County, Renick said.
“We are always going to get that shot, whether we get a project or not, but we have to be prepared,” he said.
Renick reported on IDA activities:
In other business, the board of supervisors:
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