by Joe Buck Coates
In several ways, many Copiah Countians have been affected by the local, regional and national economic downturn that some pundits are still calling a recession. Local governments have struggled with, for example, maintaining funding for roads and bridges and ample law enforcement personnel and whether or not to raise taxes to fund yearly budgets. In times like these, one would think that constructing new public facilities would be darn near impossible.Uh uh. Not in Copiah County, where three of such public projects are on the drawing board to be built in the next 1-3 years: a new jail, a new hospital and a new emergency shelter, dubbed the ‘361 Saferoom’. Each project is being funded, in part at least, through non-traditional ways, one of which includes sale of historical tax credits (I could not even begin to explain this one) through private non-profit channels. That these projects either have been or soon will be let out for bids is testament to the leadership ability of Copiah’s public officials and private business leaders.