EDA unlikely to change until next year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 25, 1999

Even thought city and county leaders think the current EDA board is too big, it’s unlikely the size of the jointly-funded agency will change for at least several months.

At that time, legislation can be modified by the state Legislature to alter the makeup of the Natchez-Adams County Economic Development Authority’s executive board.

Natchez Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown said the board would continue to function as it has been but with less money from the city.

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&uot;At this juncture everything is continuing as-is until the legislation can be approved,&uot; Brown said.

He said the city would fund the EDA &uot;as needed&uot; until the legislation is passed, adding that the authority still had money left over from this year’s budget.

Under the current local and private legislation that created the authority in February 1992, the board consists of 15 members.

The legislation requires that six members be appointed by the city, six by the county and three from the chamber.

Each appointee must be approved by each of the other agencies.

Although no date has been set by the city or the county to discuss the changes to the authority, both sides say the most likely change will be in its size.

&uot;To truthfully tell you, I don’t know what it will look like,&uot; said Supervisor Virginia Salmon, adding that the city and county leaders will likely meet to discuss the issue after both board’s budgets are completed at the end of next month.

While supervisors continue to finalize next year’s budget, Salmon said the board is &uot;committed&uot; to funding the authority with the same $175,000 it always has.

Brown said he felt the ideal size of the board might be around five members.

And with the smaller board, Brown said the city would likely reduce the amount it pays to fund the board.

&uot;The size of the EDA will be somewhat smaller, so it will require less money,&uot; he said.

But Brown said neither he nor the board of aldermen was ready to discuss how much the city will fund.

He said the city was still committed to funding the Natchez Retiree Partnership, which falls under the umbrella of the current EDA.