Saltillo industrial site to get TVA grant

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county_lee_greenBy Robbie Ward

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Lee County will receive $500,000 from the Tennessee Valley Authority to help prepare 67 acres in Turner Industrial Park, an effort to lure a future manufacturer or other company’s jobs to the area.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Monday to advertise for companies to develop part of the Saltillo industrial site.

This action follows the supervisors receiving the half-million dollar matching grant from TVA, with the county providing an identical amount.

This is among the first TVA grant programs to prepare a site not yet associated with a company or industry. The low-cost energy provider intends to encourage preparation of developments likely to land a company and new jobs throughout its seven-state service region.

“It makes a project shovel ready,” said District 2 Supervisor Bobby Smith. “Having land developed makes it a lot easier when a company looks at locating here.”

The board applied for the “invest prep” grant in July and has 18 months to complete the project under the grant requirements. Community Development Foundation leaders encouraged supervisors to select the Saltillo site, among the largest industrial properties available in the county, likely requiring around $1 million to prepare for construction of a new facility.

Lee County administrator Sean Thompson said work would likely begin during the summer.

Information from TVA wasn’t immediately available about the number of sites and total grant money involved in the program.

robbie.ward@journalinc.com