Supervisors adopt plan for county

Despite adopting a newly-developed comprehensive plan for the future growth of Union County, the board of supervisors say they won’t enforce it at this time.

“Even though we have adopted the comprehensive plan, we are not planning on enforcing or changing anything right now until we look at the plan further,” said District Four Supervisor Randy Owen.

The plan, devised by Oxford-based urban planning consultant firm Slaughter and Associates, outlines in a general way how the leaders of the community and the citizens want the community to develop over the next 20 to 25 years.  The minimum elements of a comprehensive plan are goals and objectives, land use plan, transportation plan, and community facilities plan.

Slaughter and Associates have held two public hearings over the course of a year and have talked to the Supervisors on numerous occasions about the future plan for Union County. The goals and objectives that have been addressed at the meetings were residential, commercial and industrial development, open space and recreation, street and road improvements and community facilities.

The main issues discussed for Union County were residential development, the upcoming Toyota plant, safety, controlled growth, guidelines, trash, housing, future land use, septic tanks, Union County’s flood plains, Rails for Trails, etc.

Mike Slaughter, president of Slaughter and Associates, and Sam Russell, planning manager for Slaughter and Associates, have came before the board a few times within the last year to discuss the comprehensive plan.

Slaughter and Russell have held two public hearings at the Union County Courthouse discussing the needs and wants of Union County citizens. The first public hearing was held last year on August 21st and the most recent one was held August 10th. Russell predicts a slow, but steady growth in Union County over the next 20-25 years.

In November 2007, the Supervisors applied for a rural business opportunity grant of $50,000 to help pay Slaughter and Associates. This grant is a federal grant through United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. County Administrator Terry Johnson had to request an extension on the grant and it was accepted. Now that the comprehensive plan is adopted, Slaughter and Associates will soon be paid. In addition, Slaughter and Associates are getting paid $30,000 from the Pontotoc, Lee, Union County (PUL) alliance was given, for a grand total of $80,000.