Economic, industrial development makes major strides in area
Jan. 1, 2002
Last year marked a change in the leadership of the area's economic development efforts.
In April, former Mississippi Power official Wade Jones became president of the East Mississippi Business Development Corp. Lauderdale County's economic development agency.
Jones and the board spent much of 2001 establishing goals and priorities. He and his staff also had their plates full, working on various economic development projects.
Then, five months later, on Sept. 27, two-term EMBDC board chairman Glen Deweese died after a long bout with cancer. Tommy Dulaney, founder of Structural Steel Services, was unanimously chosen by the board to serve as chairman.
Meanwhile, the EMBDC continued to work with Lauderdale County developing a new industrial park. The county bought 600 acres of land east of Meridian on Highway 11/80 at the old Malone Ranch.
Volunteers have worked to clear the site for construction, while the city of Meridian is preparing to put in water and sewage connections.
Obtaining access to Interstate 20-59 from the park also was a a top priority for the EMBDC. And the local congressional delegation did its part, snagging $1 million in federal funds for preliminary work on a new I-20/59 exit.