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Economic picture improving in Copiah, Honan says

CCEDD NEW OFFICERS – New president of the Copiah County Economic Development District Scotty King presents past president Richard Stockett with a Plaque of Appreciation during the first quarterly meeting of the new fiscal year.

NEW TRUSTEES – Neil Honan, CCEDD Executive Director, with new members of the CCEDD board of trustees, from left, Francis Jackson, Millerson Black, Tim Rutland and Sandy Ray.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE – Neil Honan, CCEDD Executive Director, with new members of the executive committee, Scotty King, president; Dan Rogers, secretary; Yolanda Brown, treasurer; and, Richard Stockett, ex-officio. Not pictured: Jeff Varas, vice president.

Several recent actions taken by industries in Copiah County show that the overall economy is showing signs of improvement, as reported by Neil Honan, executive director of the Copiah County Economic Development District at the organization’s first quarterly meeting of FY2010 of the Board of Trustees last Wednesday.

Among the good news Honan reported is the planned increase in jobs as a result of expansions.  CCI, an industry located in the Hazlehurst Industrial Park, will spend around $300,000 to expand its natural gas pipeline service business.  Around 25 new jobs will be created, most of which will be skilled positions that will pay better-than-average wages.  DG Foods, a further-processing of poultry industry in the Copiah County Industrial Park, has landed a contract with Bar S Foods that will allow the industry to add jobs and possibly another shift back to its operation.

On the retail side, Action Properties, who purchased a vacated building on Highway 28 and has been refurbishing the facility, announced that Hibbet Sports is moving into a portion of the sub-divided property.  Action is also in the final phases of working out a deal with an anchor tennant that will move into the largest portion of the building.  The final result will be about 30-40 new jobs created, Honan stated.

“We’re all about opportunities to succeed, and these recent announcements prove that the county and the district is working hard to create such opportunities,” Honan said.

Honan reiterated his appreciation for the current financial partners of the district, including the Board of Supervisors who are the major financial contributor to the district.  “Without the support of these organizations, we couldn’t be in a position to create opportunities,” Honan added.

Other matters taken up by the Trustees included the installation of a new Executive Committee member.  Yolanda Brown will take over as Treasurer.  Dan Rogers moves up to Secretary.  Jeff Varas moves into the position of Vice-president.  And, Scotty King takes over as the new President.  The Ex-officio is Richard Stockett, who served as President for the past year, and Past-president James Mitchell moves off the committee.

King announced the new members of the Board of Trustees as Francis Jackson, Millerson Black, Tim Rutland and Sandy Ray.  Recognized as members rolling off of the Trustees are DeMario Benson, Sr., Robert Haynes, Sandra Jones and Mickel McMillian.

The new Nominating Commitee consists of Warren Thornton, chair, Jimmy Buchanan and Joe B. Coates.

Routine matters handled by the board included approval of the claims from the last two quarters of the fiscal year and acceptance of the minutes from the April and July meetings.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for January 2010.

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