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LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — An Oxford company will pay for a health care strategy study that could net it millions in housing tax incentives while providing Lowndes County a road map for future health care jobs recruitment.

Lowndes supervisors accepted the offer from housing developer Chartre Company Monday. The study, which would cost between $15,000 and $70,000 if done by an outside consultant, is called for under the state’s year-old health care recruitment jobs act.

Eight counties in the state with health care facilities of more than 375 acute-care beds fall under the act’s incentives but others, like Lowndes with large health care resources, can qualify for the incentives and related investment funding by having the study done.

The reviews look at all the county’s health care assets and what could be done to lure more doctors and medical-related industries to within five miles of Baptist Golden Triangle. It also looks at other housing needs throughout the county.

Chartre wants to tap into $160 million in low-income housing tax credits that could be released in May for 28 low-and moderate income lease-purchase townhomes in the county this spring. The study is part of that approval.

Chartre already has a housing development on South Lehmberg Road and had another project rejected last year when funding ran out. But the state has found a way to tap into additional money in the next two years and Chartre could get its project approved almost immediately if the health care study is done.

“It is worth it to us to conduct the study for the county,” Chartre’s Clarence Chapman told supervisors.

Under terms of the agreement, the study will cost the county nothing and supervisors are not compelled to do anything with the study or follow its recommendations once it is complete.

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