Two governors commit to interstate agreement
HAPPY DAY Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, left, Tommy Dulaney, chairman of the East Mississippi Business Development Corp., and Bill Crawford, president of The Montgomery Institute, a regional leadership foundation, greet each other Thursday at Union Station after the governor's press conference. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 13, 2003
Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and Alabama's chief executive, Gov. Bob Riley, signed letters of intent Thursday to establish an interstate agreement to create jobs along the Alabama-Mississippi state line.
Area business people, politicians and media packed East Mississippi Business Development Corp.'s conference room at Union Station for the announcement.
Earlier in the day, Musgrove and Riley made the same announcement in Montgomery, Ala.
Musgrove said industry looking to locate new plants consider location, infrastructure and incentives. He said an interstate agreement will make each of those factors available like never before by sharing each state's resources to attract large employers.
The letter signed by the governors calls for the alliance to be crafted between the Alabama Development Office and the Mississippi Development Authority and includes establishing one or more regional economic districts.
The governor hinted that many companies are aware of the states' pooling efforts for economic development and that several prospects have emerged for the region.
Tommy Dulaney, chairman of the East Mississippi Business Development Corp., said the governor has worked for more than a year on the interstate agreement project.
Dulaney said there may be as many as four industrial plants considering the East Mississippi and West Alabama area within the next two years.
Mary Perry, president of the Meridian City Council, said she believes the agreement will bring quality jobs to Meridian and Lauderdale County.
Lauderdale County District 4 Supervisor Joe Norwood called the agreement a "shot in the arm" for the county.
Lauderdale County District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell said the governors of both states worked hard to develop the agreement.