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Kemper County plans for future

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
Dec. 11, 2001
DEKALB Better roads, a good water supply, 1,000 more jobs and a strong education system are some of the goals Kemper County residents hope will become reality in the next 10 years.
Their plan, "Team Kemper Vision to Action 2010," is the result of 110 Kemper County residents and others who met over the last six months to develop community goals and strategies for achieving them.
The effort was led by the Kemper County Economic Development Authority and sponsored by a grant from the Appalachian Region Commission.
County goals
Vision to Action 2010 is a series of goals set under the categories of "Excellence in Education," "Quality Communities," "Economic Expansion" and "Infrastructure Development."
Kemper County EDA executive director Mike McGrevey said that developing infrastructure is a major part of the plan especially along Highway 45 on the eastern part of the county.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is building a power plant north of DeKalb. The plant will make water, sewer service and natural gas service a possibility in parts of Kemper County.
The strategic plan calls the county to capitalize on the TVA plant by improving water service for all users, providing sewage treatment for industrial and commercial prospects on Highway 45 and expanding natural gas availability.
Determined leaders
Strategic plans come and go, noted one businessman who helped craft the plan.
Money may also be available in some cases, noted Mabel Murphy of the Appalachian Region Commission. Kemper County is one of 22 Mississippi counties in the ARC, a federal commission that covers 18 states.
Murphy said Kemper County is considered an economically distressed county, which is why ARC became involved with money and staff leadership.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at