Monday morning I saw the first check that I had ever seen that had been signed by President Obama. It was huge–physically it was about the size of a large highway map–in size and in amount–$425,000.
The ceremonial check presented by the U. S. government’s EDA is the first of its kind in the state. The county will use it to construct a new water well in the industrial park in Gallman. Up front it means that the current tenants in the park will be able to use water without flow and usage problems. But, adding the increased capacity means much more in opportunities for the future.
The increased capacity opens up more ‘room’ for prospects in the industrial park–it widens the spectrum of industries looking to add a new facility or relocate to a new area. It improves Copiah County’s chances to add jobs, increase pay and improve quality of life. And, economic development is jobs, as Neil Honan, executive director of the CCEDD, says.
This is great news for Copiah County and a boost to the county’s economic psyche.
County benefits from behind the scenes diligence
What Phil Paradice, regional director of the EDA in Atlanta, GA, said Monday is what we’ve been hearing from economic development agencies at the state and federal level for years.
“Copiah County was easy to work with. They know what they are doing,” he said after the ceremony.
The CCEDD under Honan’s leadership and at the direction of its executive board and with great support from its business and organizational partners–including the heavy investment by the Board of Supervisors–has made a great impression around the state and nation over the past few years in economic development circles. By being smart, progressive, opportunistic and flexible, the organization has been able to help garner millions of grant fund dollars for a wide variety of economic development projects that have either created or saved dozens of jobs in the county.
The CCEDD is a great benefit to Copiah County now and for future generations of business owners and industries.
Schools are starting, be aware of those children and staffers!
With the advent of the new school year, parents, teachers, administrators, coaches, staffers and–yes, even students–are excited about the possibilities. We especially are excited around here because a new school year means more pictures and more stories about the successes of our students.
Just be mindful of what could happen on the way to and from school each day. Drive even more carefully than normal, watching for children walking to school, waiting to board buses and those that are driving for the first time. Buckle your own passengers and keep an eye out for the other drivers on the roads. Be prepared to stop for school buses (it’s the law!). Be respectful of personnel who direct traffic in parking lots and around the school areas.
And, please be patient while everyone adjusts to the new school year. Don’t get in a hurry and make a wrong decision that could result in a tragic accident. The goal is to arrive safely at school and at home each day.
We wish all of our students, teachers and staffers, administrators, bus drivers and parents good luck this year!
Joe Buck Coates