Thursday, May 13, 2010
Officials lay groundwork for future development
By SUE WATSON
A group representing state agencies and congressmen, combined with members of the local delegation and elected leaders, met last week for lunch to acknowledge the benefit of working together to solve problems for Marshall County.
U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and U.S. Rep. Travis Childers sent representatives.
The occasion was arranged by Bill Mobley and the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority and the board of supervisors. With the current financial climate causing concern for government as well as business, Mobley, executive director of the IDA, praised the cooperative work of elected officials in obtaining crucial funding for infrastructure that will promote growth in the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park area and elsewhere.
He said over $8 million, designated for an overpass on Highway 72 to tie highways into the upcoming Memphis Intermodal Yard in Rossville, is a huge help with growth at the industrial park and elsewhere in the county.
The appropriation will cover just over half of the expense of the overpass, he said, necessitating the need for state agencies and elected officials to continue to work to find the funds for completion of the project.
Calling economic development a “team sport,” Mike Armour with the Appalachian Regional Commission, said the combined efforts of development groups, development districts, and state and federal agencies has resulted in “a lot of good things going on up here.”
“We appreciate all you do,” he said.
Mobley said IDA has seven projects working in the Holly Springs, Byhalia and industrial park areas.
“We know it is going to be a good year for Marshall County,” he said.
Bill York, chairman of the IDA board, agreed.
“We appreciate what you are doing for Marshall County,” he said. “Thank you and we will be calling you again.”
County administrator Larry Hall encouraged the group to hang together to get the additional $7 million needed to construct the overpass.
“It is a small investment for the people of the Marshall County area,” he said.
State Sen. Tommy Woods said the county is lucky to have “run upon people” like William Adair, who is “willing to invest his own money into the project.”
Adair, who provided the land for the intermodal yard, will build the access road to the yard in Rossville from Highway 72 with his own money.
Richard Allen, district engineer for the Batesville office of the Mississippi Department of Transportation, provided an update on the intermodal yard project.
Norfolk Southern is working on an environmental study and archeologists are already working in the proposed area, he said. After environmental studies are completed, the engineering for the overpass will begin with planning and the moving of utilities.
He said offers for buyouts of land for right-of-way for I-269 on the segment from Highway 78 to Goodman Road could begin this month. The portion from Goodman Road to the Tennessee line could be let to contract this fall if all right-of-way is purchased and one utility line is moved.
The expected schedule for three other segments of I-269 are fall of 2011 for the I-55 to Highway 305 segment; spring of 2012 for the Highway 305 to Highway 78 segment; and 2013 for the Highway 78 to Goodman Road segment.
Lunch for the meeting was prepared and provided by Sheriff Kenny Dickerson and his staff. The meal included fried catfish, hushpuppies and cole slaw, banana pudding, cake and peach ice cream.
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