Supervisors hear update on regional business incubator

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2000

One of several economic development leaders from a five-county area who are working toward a regional business incubator gave Adams County supervisors an update on the project Monday.

But Supervisor Virginia Salmon said county officials need to do some thinking before committing to a regional business incubator project.

&uot;I think it leaves us a lot to think about,&uot; Salmon said. &uot;I think we need to be educated before we get into things.&uot;

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At Monday’s regular meeting, supervisors heard from Wirt Peterson of Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District. To encourage economic development, the program was funded by Alcorn State University’s Center for Rural Life and Economic Development.

The study recommends construction of start-up business incubators in each of five counties – Adams, Claiborne, Franklin, Jefferson and Wilkinson.

&uot;I’m not certain that’s the best approach but that is what has been recommended by the experts,&uot; Peterson said.

The incubators could be costly to the counties, and Peterson said he is not certain such a facility would meet the needs of prospective business owners in Adams County.

&uot;I would rather have something created for the demand (instead of) from a study that says let’s see what the demand is,&uot; Peterson said. &uot;It’s not my intent to throw cold water (on the idea.) It is my intent, however, to be realistic.&uot;

The incubators would have the advantage of having someone over them with the needed experience to help new companies, he said.

The cost of project is not definite, but Peterson said it could cost $200,000 just to pay for the staff at the five incubators.

With the study complete, officials are at the point of talking with officials in all five counties to see if they want to commit to the project.

Peterson said he could not speak for the different officials, but he worries other demands on their resources may make this project difficult to fund.

Supervisor Darryl Grennell said he would like to conduct a survey of Adams County to see what type of businesses people are interested in starting and if they are interested in the incubators.

In other business Monday, the board:

4Held a public hearing on a $157,300 Law Enforcement Block Grant for the Adams County Sheriff’s Department.

4Voted to advertise for bids in the fifth phase of renovations to the Adams County courthouse.

4Decided to seek an additional price quote on workers compensation insurance for Adams County. Its current provider is leaving the state and is canceling its policy as of Jan. 1.

Adams County has already gathered other quotes, the lowest of which came in at $17,869 more than the county had previously been paying.

4Accepted a deed for Tasha Drive.

4Heard a complaint from Adams County resident, Charles Floyd about the sanitation department not picking up his garbage.

4Discussed private properties eligible for the emergency watershed program on Booker Road, North Sunflower Road and Prince Addition. The board decided to have an auditor examine the areas. Because the property is private, board attorney Marion Smith thinks it would be illegal for Adams County to improve the drainage problems, especially if the roadway does not cause them.

4Approved tax exemptions for Dutch Foods and Johns Manville.