Regionalism Taking Shape
GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI) – There was a major announcement made today in the Golden Triangle area that will unite Lowndes, Clay and Oktibbeha Counties. The topic was regionalism and the role it plays when promoting economic development.
The announcement was made that Lowndes County, Oktibbeha County and Clay County will partnership moving forward as a region. A steering committee was formed to come up with a plan to unite the three counties under one unit, similar to the move already made by the LINK and Growth Alliance between Lowndes and Clay County. With an economic development recruiter already in Lowndes and Clay Counties the first step is getting a recruiter for Oktibbeha County, which could happen as soon as January.
LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins says, “Our biggest obstacle to getting this passed is people is people not understanding it. I think if they understand where the resources are coming from, what we’re going to try accomplish and they understand and know.”
Although the plan will have its opposition there will be plenty of time to inform the public and answer all concerns. A timeline of two years has been designated to implement leadership and structure.
Higgins says, “These three counties if we put them together and sell the assets that all of them have, we’re going to be very very affirmable force in the Southeast U.S. If not the county.”
According to Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman, “You’ve got to have the right opportunity when everyone is willing to sacrifice a little bit. That is the key to success in any organization is each parts have to be willing to give something of themselves for the good of the whole.”
The plan is a public private partnership and the organization will need roughly $2.3 million to $2.5 million to operate yearly. Each county will be responsible for coming up with $350,000 with the remainder funded privately.
According to Higgins, “We tend to as communities to kind of snicker when another community doesn’t succeed and a little jealous when something good happens for someone that is not us. I think it’s time the Golden Triangle gets on the same buss, we go to the casino, we put all of our chips together and we put them down. We either win together or we lose together.”
Some issues still need to be worked out but the ball is rolling to making the Golden Triangle bigger and better than ever.
The proposed name for the regional partnership will be the Golden Traingle Regional Development Authority or GTRDA.