TAP Alliance ready to get moving

CORINTH – With county and city officials approving the final document that forms the TAP Alliance, work is set to begin on structuring the organization and visioning its future.
By the end of 2009, supervisors of Tishomingo, Alcorn and Prentiss counties, as well as the city boards in Iuka, Corinth and Booneville, had approved the agreement that establishes the economic development organization, said Gary Chandler, president of Corinth and Alcorn County’s Alliance, who is helping lay the groundwork.
“We are going to try to bring the local elected officials that will make up the TAP Alliance together later this month,” he said. “TVA’s Economic and Community Development Division will facilitate the session and assist the group in identifying a scope of work over the next 12 months, as well as assist in developing areas of focus.”
Getting a new organization off the ground will take time, Chandler said, and everyone understands that the process must be methodical and deliberate for the organization to be successful in the future.
The group is patterned after the PUL (Pontotoc, Union, Lee) Alliance that successfully built an automotive manufacturing megasite and attracted the Toyota plant. However, the TAP Alliance has no concrete projects being considered as yet.
The state enacted the Regional Economic Development Act in 2000 to enable other counties to collaborate on economic development projects.
Besides the PUL Alliance, about 20 counties in the southwestern part of the state has organized as the Southwest Partnership “strictly as a marketing effort,” Chandler has said previously.
Each county will be asked to provide annual funding to be used as a match for any grants they receive and other needs.
“We are talking more in terms of years, not months, to position the TAP Alliance to be the real regional leader we all envision,” Chandler said. “We’re excited to be at this point and look forward to working with Alcorn, Prentiss and Tishomingo counties to improve the quality of life for the citizens of our counties.”

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchel/NEMS Daily Journal