City and county need to support EDA

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005

When Natchez aldermen and Adams County supervisors meet today to discuss economic development, their first priority should be supporting the Economic Development Authority they helped create.

Some city officials have said recently that they would consider abandoning funding of the EDA in favor of hiring the city’s own developer.

Thanks in large part to changes on the EDA board in recent years &045; including reducing the number of members to a more manageable five &045; our community has gained more respect from statewide developers.

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What those outside contacts appreciate about our city and county is that there appears to be far less divisiveness over issues involving economic development. Businesses who are interested in locating in our area have one contact &045; the EDA &045; to help recruit them.

Why on earth, then, would we want to tamper with that burgeoning reputation?

We won’t say economic development doesn’t need improvement. The EDA board itself took a step toward the future by parting ways with its former director and seeking a new coach for the team.

It’s also high time to develop a public-private partnership that will allow private financing for the EDA.

Those are the ideas we hope city and county leaders will discuss today &045; not the prospect of heading in different directions or splintering our economic development efforts.

Everyone wants to see us attract new business that will create more jobs. Our city and county &045; along with the EDA &045; have a common goal.

And we need one agency to be the key contact to help fulfill that goal.