Thursday, September 11, 2008
Byhalia companies consider expansions
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has several activities working in the county, according to interim director Del Stover.
IDA has been without a new executive director since the resignation of Bill Renick effective June 30.
Stover told the Marshall County Board of Supervisors of some anticipated expansions of businesses already on the ground and some pending financing at last week’s meeting of the supervisors.
Artisan Frame and Moulding, located on Highway 309 in the Byhalia area, is seeking financing for an additional 12,000 square feet, he said. The millwork company manufactures wooden moldings, stairs, columns, louvers, cornices, door surrounds, moldings and interior ceiling and wall products and other finishing materials.
Griffin Inc., a fabricating company located on Highway 178 in Byhalia, is also looking to expand, pending approval of financing, Stover said.
Both companies would seek bond financing with the Mississippi Development Authority.
Temputeck, a company manufacturing grain elevator monitors for the agricultural industry, has moved into one of the old Gurley buildings in Byhalia and is working 14 employees, Stover said. The company manufactures grain bin temperature monitors, motion slowdown monitors, aeration control equipment and bearing and belt alignment monitors.
Two companies are looking to lease space in the old GEM building in Byhalia, once occupied by Hunter Fan. One company would employ about six while the other company could eventually provide about 400 new jobs, Stover said. IDA would have to find money to do about $1 million in repair on the building, he said.
Supervisor Keith Taylor said he is concerned companies may hop from county to county, be granted 10-year ad valorem tax exemptions, but sometimes move before their exemptions are expired.
“What do you do if a company comes in, if the company relocates out of the county?" he asked. “Would the county require they pay back their tax exemptions (already granted annually) if they pull out before the 10-year exemption is up?”
Stover said the exemption could be researched.
County administrator Larry Hall said he was surprised the Mississippi Development Authority is giving a company that hopped from Marshall County to DeSoto County a loan.
“Those who handle federal dollars call it piracy of jobs from one community to another,” Stover said.
Supervisor Willie Flemon asked when IDA will make four new appointments to its board of directors.
Stover said it would be this week when the IDA board meets.
Supervisor George Zinn III asked about the status of hiring a new executive director to IDA.
“The gentleman turned down our offer due to salary,” Stover said. “We will go back to the drawing board and start all over.”
Taylor asked whether applicants are informed of the salary before they apply.
“We told them a number,” said Stover. “Yes, they know.”
Zinn called the two-month search for a new director “a waste of everybody’s time.”
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