Thursday, January 17, 2008
ARC group visits county sitesBy SUE WATSON
Officials with the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington, D.C., and the Tupelo office visited Holly Springs Thursday to participate in a two-day meeting of Planning and Development Districts.
County administrator Larry Hall provided a tour of Holly Springs as thunderstorms rolled through the area. Visits included Walter Place and the Marshall County Historical Museum.
Anne Pope with the Appalachian Region Commission, Washington, D.C., office, and presidential appointee to the commission, said the planning and development districts met in Holly Springs Thursday and Friday and met with Gov. Haley Barbour Wednesday for a winter board meeting of the Development District Association of Appalachia.
The meeting was held at Kirkwood National.
Pope said Barbour was elected co-chairman of DDAA by fellow governors and replaces Gov. Joe Manchin of West Virginia this year.
The Appalachian Regional Commission is a federal/state partnership for economic development in 13 states in the Appalachian Region stretching from New York to Mississippi.
Secretary for the board of DDAA, Sharon Gardner, said each of the 13 states represented in ARC sent a representative.
The DDAA board of directors works directly with the ARC staff in Washington to develop and implement the strategic plan and priorities of ARC, Gardner said. DDAA also has an annual conference in Washington, this year in February.
“We always have our meetings in an ARC area and I invited the board to Holly Springs,” she said. “We had representatives from New York, Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Mississippi, as well as several staff from Washington.
The group toured Strawberry Plains Tuesday evening, and Fitch Farms Wednesday and conducted business sessions at Kirkwood.
“Lisa Stevens of the Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District and Larry Hall were a big part of making the arrangements for the group to be in Holly Springs,” Gardner said. “Sheriff Kenny Dickerson cooked for us at Strawberry Plains.”
ARC has partnered with Marshall County and the City of Holly Springs in a number of projects recently. Some of these include the Sewer Project and other infrastructure improvements at the Holly Springs Commons, hospital, and Williams Clinic site in south Holly Springs, funding for the construction of the North Holly Springs Access Road, funding for the Exel water project at Chickasaw Trails Industrial Park, and funding of the Marshall County Strategic Planning project and Leadership Marshall.
A new project that will benefit Marshall and Benton counties is being considered for assistance from ARC. The technology program at Rust College, if approved, will help build the science and math programs at the college, said state director of ARC in Tupelo, Mike Armour.
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