Thursday, November 20, 2008
Planning district, county get national recognition
The Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District in Booneville received a 2008 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for its Marshall County Strategic Planning Project.
NADO is a Washington, D.C.-based association that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery and comprehensive strategies. The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and partnering organizations for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities. Award winners were showcased during NADO’s 2008 Annual Training Conference, October 3-7 in Anchorage, Alaska.
“For more than 20 years, NADO’s Innovation Awards program has provided a unique opportunity to showcase thousands of creative and cutting-edge projects, like Marshall County’s Strategic Planning Project, which have been integral in preserving and advancing the economic growth and sustainability of our nation’s regions. This recognition only further emphasizes the continued need for regional development organizations and their critical role in promoting economic development for the country’s rural and small metropolitan communities,” said NADO President Leanne Mazer, executive director of the Tri-County Council for Western MD in Cumberland, Maryland.
Founded in 1967, the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) provides advocacy, education, networking and research for the national network of 540 regional development organizations. NADO members provide professional, programmatic and technical assistance to over 2,300 counties and 15,000 municipalities.
Follow-up to press release
“Even though NEMPDD did not provide financial funding for the Marshall County Strategic Plan, it provided staff to assist Dr. Jack Russell in the facilitation of the planning project,” said executive director Sharon Gardner. “Approximately 700 attendees from across the nation attended the National Association of Development Organizations Annual Conference, including ourselves, county administrator Larry Hall and supervisor George Zinn III.
“The conference is the premier annual training event for policy board members, executive directors, administrative staff, and strategic partners of NADO, especially elected officials like the Marshall County Board of Supervisors.”
Gardner said the sessions in Anchorage provided the PDDs with innovative approaches to regional development, encouraged thought about how to position the organizations for the future, and pushed association members to learn more about the public sector’s role in shaping regional development. In general NADO’s focus is smaller metropolitan areas and rural areas, she said.
“We received updates on the 2008 Farm Bill which includes funding for CDBG and Rural Development projects,” Gardner said.
NEMPDD has funneled millions of dollars into Marshall County projects.
For the five-year time period between July 1, 2003, and June 30, 2007, NEMPDD has assisted Marshall County and the municipalities within the submittal and administrative area in obtaining approximately $3.5 million in federal funds and $4 million in state funds. Examples of these projects are:
Gardner commented on community involvement in the Marshall County Strategic Planning process.
“The strategic plan reflects the needs and expectations of the residents of the county and its municipalities as identified through multiple public consultation activities,” Gardner said. “Citizens provided opinions based on their experience of living and working in Marshall County as well as outlining what would make living in the area more positive.
“Given the knowledge of what residents would like the area to be, the strategic planning committees identified a sequence of actions that needed to be undertaken to successfully attain the vision, goals and objectives. The plan is now in the implementation phase with projects such as the annual Leadership Class already undertaken.”
Board thanks community
“The board of supervisors wishes to thank everyone who supported the Marshall County Strategic Plan,” county administrator Larry Hall said Monday.
Specifically, the board extended appreciation to NEMPDD for its support and technical assistance; the Appalachian Regional Commission for its encouragement and for financial support for the project; local business and industry support; organizers of the Marshall County Leadership Program including Sarah Sawyer, Janet Jolley and Susan Jordan; all participants who invested time and resources and to those who have helped implement the plan.
“The participants have invested their time to become aware of the community around them and to interact with other Marshall Countians from all walks of life,” said Hall. “These citizens will contribute to the future of this county and it is our obligation to prepare them for the task.”
Many goals set for the community in areas of community development, economic development, taxation, safety and jobs have been realized since the planning began, Hall said.
To enumerate a few, in the last five years Marshall County has:
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