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franklin county times

EMBDC can make it with less money from city

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Oct. 4, 2001
The president of Lauderdale County's chief economic development agency said Wednesday he could have used the $7,000 in funds Meridian councilmen cut this week.
But, Wade Jones said, he and others at the East Mississippi Business Development Corp. understand that city finances are tight. Jones said he believes the council still has confidence in EMBDC.
Meridian city councilmen voted 5-0 Tuesday to override a mayoral veto that would have fully funded the EMBDC. Now, the city will give the EMBDC $86,210 this year down from the $93,000 it received last year.
Before the city council vote, Ward 3 Councilman Barbara Henson said that fellow councilmen "understood there was a real budget crunch." That, she said, is why they had to cut costs.
Jones said the EMBDC could have used the additional funding because some of its future plans will "involve a more aggressive economic development program." To be aggressive, he said, the EMBDC will need more staff and, consequently, more money.
Jones remains optimistic the city could restore the funds it cut.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.