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Vidalia establishes new economic development districts

Published 12:10am Wednesday, June 11, 2014

VIDALIA — The Vidalia Board of Aldermen made official Tuesday two newly established economic development districts in the town.

The board hosted public hearings at its Tuesday meeting to offer the public a chance to make comments on the establishment of the districts. No one appeared before the board to make a comment.

The town officially established economic development districts on six to seven acres on the Vidalia Riverfront and more than 30 acres across from Walmart on Carter Street.

The districts were created at the request of Concordia Parish Economic Development Director Heather Malone, who said the districts allow the town to use tax-increment financing to fund infrastructure on sites for proposed developments.

TIF is a mechanism that enables a local government to use future tax revenues in a specific area and apply them toward funding infrastructure improvements.

Malone said developers have in the past asked if Vidalia has the ability to use TIF.

The districts, Malone said, will make Vidalia more competitive at attracting businesses.

“We have pieces of property in the city that have sat undeveloped for years and are not on the tax rolls,” Malone said. “With using TIF, we will be able to have a new business that will generate new jobs and taxes, a percentage of which will go toward paying for (the infrastructure improvements).”

In other news from the meeting:

4The board voted to proclaim a Queen of the Mississippi Day in order of the steamboat cruise’s contribution to the local economy and history. The official date of the day is to be determined at a later date.

4The board voted to set July 8 as the date for a public hearing to set the millage for the coming fiscal year.