By Regina Butler/Pontotoc Progress
PONTOTOC – County Supervisors are looking hard at the possibility of assuming the city of Pontotoc’s debt on ownership and further development of the 100 acre industrial park site in Cherry Creek Road.
This would allow the city to spearhead efforts to develop a new home for the WIN Job Center and manufacturing incubators.
Supervisor board president Wayne Stokes said while the county is still in the discussion phase he favors the idea so the county can move forward on developing the site.
Both the county and the city went into agreement to purchase the property back in the first quarter of 2010 and clearing and grubbing of the land has taken place since that time.
Randy Kelley, Executive Director of the Three Rivers Planning and Development District, suggested to the supervisors that they assume the responsibility of the mega-site and let the city purchase the old Ram Golf building for the WIN job center and as an industrial incubator.
“I realize the county and the city can’t do both of these projects together,” Stokes said.
Stokes said that while there is not anybody announcing to move onto the site today the key to the industrial development is “being as prepared as we can. It is important because we want and deserve some suppliers for Toyota here in Pontotoc County
“As things progress there are going to be more looking at this site and we need to be ready when they come.”
However, Stokes was quick to point out that the site wasn’t just for Toyota suppliers.
“Any industry that is looking for a place to call home can come to this site and get going,” he said.
What has made this site so favorable for the county and the city is the fact that infrastructure is there.
“There are places all over Pontotoc County where we could house industry but there isn’t any infrastructure,” he pointed out. “It takes so much money to put in water and sewer,” he noted. “Gas and power are not a big issue out in the county, but water and sewer is.”
Stokes also said that the site is favorable because of the major highway that will soon be less than a quarter of a mile from it. “When Highway 15 gets 4-laned it will be close at hand”
Stokes said the board is going to take a step at a time, “Once we see if this is what the city really wants.”
Estimates are running over $350,000 to level and clear it out and make it attractive for industrial sites
If the board does decide to assume responsibility, they can build the cost into next year’s budget.
And Stokes said moving forward would be a good thing for the county because it will give a strong industrial development for Pontotoc.