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Senator pushes unity among southern counties

NATCHEZ — When talking economic development, District 37 Sen. Melanie Sojourner said southern Mississippi has been compared by the governor to a bunch of crabs in a trap — “when one county would get ready, the neighboring counties would jerk them down.”

Sojourner asked the Adams County Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution saying they would work with neighboring counties for the greater economic good.

The last 15 major economic development projects have been in northern Mississippi, Sojourner said, with only the Elevance project in Natchez and a development in Vicksburg in the southern portion of the state. A coalition of southern counties has formed to lobby for industry to come south, and Sojourner said the group wants a representative from every county present at a press conference Feb. 13 to show unified support for the cause.

“We have got to work collectively,” she said.

“A win for Adams County is a win for Franklin County.”

Meanwhile, the Mississippi Development Authority is soon to hire a new director, and Sojourner said the northern portion of the state has a candidate they want. The southern part of the state would be at a disadvantage if they had no say in the selection, she said.

The supervisors adopted a resolution stating they would work together with other southern counties for economic development, and pledged their support for the cause.

In other business, Supervisor David Carter asked if it was possible to develop a year-round program for spraying for weeds. Blaine Burgess of Progressive Solutions, which sprays for the county, was present.

The goal of spraying is to reduce the number of times the county has to mow its property and right-of-ways, and spraying is ultimately much cheaper than mowing, Carter said.

“Spraying now would take out your winter weeds and stop some of the summer seeds,” he said. “You could spray again in the summer and that would suffice for a cut.”