West: City’s EDA funding won’t change

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; The City of Natchez will continue to fund the Economic Development Authority at the current level of $100,000 a year, according to Mayor Phillip West.

West’s comments were made following the EDA board’s Wednesday afternoon meeting, which included a two-hour executive session with West and aldermen.

Last month West and some aldermen said they wanted to devote to community development the $100,000 the city pays the EDA each year.

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That could include such things as housing and infrastructure developing and downtown revitalization.

Options included the city’s hiring its own economic and community development director or asking that the funds it gives the EDA be used for community development.

West said Wednesday the city won’t ask that all of its EDA contribution be used for community development &045; simply that such activities be an integral part of the agency’s program of work.

&uot;We all decided to come up with a more comprehensive plan of action&uot; for the EDA that includes more community development, West said. &uot;We all agreed to take the next 60 to 90 days to do that.&uot;

&uot;We’ll do that with their input as to what they’d like to see accomplished, working together to identify problems and find solutions,&uot; EDA Chairman Woody Allen said.

However, no date had been set as of Wednesday for city and EDA officials to meet again to cement the plan.

The EDA’s board was waiting until the city made a decision on EDA funding to hire a new executive director, although the position is already being advertised.

Former Director Michael Ferdinand, who came to Adams County from a position at the Mississippi Development Authority in 2001, resigned effective June 30.