Mississippi investing nearly $25 million in site development

Gov. Tate Reeves has announced that the state of Mississippi is investing nearly $25 million in site development projects throughout the state. Site development grant funds made available through the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the RESTORE Act are assisting local economic development entities in their efforts to spur economic growth by attracting new industry to competitive, shovel-ready sites.

“Shovel-ready sites are a top priority for companies seeking a new location,” said Gov. Tate Reeves. “By investing in these sites today, we are laying a foundation upon which companies can quickly locate, expand and create jobs for future generations of Mississippians.”

The MDA recently awarded a total of $1,637,983 through its Site Development Grant Program for projects in the Ready Sites and Premier Sites categories. Ready Sites require a minimum of 20 highly developable acres, and the site must be work-ready within six months and must be capable of having utilities on site within 12 months. Ready Sites are eligible to receive up to $50,000 in funding. Premier Sites require a minimum of 100 acres and must have attributes that distinguish them from other properties, such as being in high-demand locations, having large-scale, “mega”-development acreage or having significant utility infrastructure already in place. They also must have a labor force able to attract the intended market. Premier Sites are eligible to receive up to $250,000 in funding. Those awarded funding include:

Ready Sites 

  • Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce – $25K for completing environmental due diligence at Cleveland Industrial Park
  • Economic Development Authority of Jones County – $50K for drainage improvements at Howard Industrial Park
  • Greene County Board of Supervisors – $50K for environmental due diligence at the Greene County Rail Site
  • Harrison County Development Commission – $28K for broadband installation in the North Harrison County Industrial Complex
  • Marion County Economic Development District – $50K for environmental due diligence and clearing at the Columbia New Generation Park
  • Walthall County Board of Supervisors – $49,983.20 for clearing and to design and build an entrance at the U.S. Hwy. 98 Site
  • Yellow Creek State Inland Port Authority – $50K to complete environmental due diligence and clearing and grubbing at the Boothe Property Development at the Yellow Creek Port

Premier Sites

  • Community Development Foundation – $250K for construction of a building pad and an expansion pad, and initial access road construction at The HIVE Business Park
  • Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission – $250K for environmental due diligence at Site #1 at Port Bienville Industrial Park
  • Madison County Economic Development Authority – $250K for clearing and grubbing at the Madison County Mega Site
  • Panola Partnership – $85K for engineering/design for an elevated water tank at Panola County Airport Industrial Park
  • Rankin First Economic Development Authority – $250K for construction of a building pad at the East Metro Center Rail Site at the EMC Industrial Park
  • Smith County Economic Development District – $250K for infrastructure improvements at the Smith County Industrial Site 

The MDA also has committed $11,642,589 in Site Development Grant – Select Sites funding. The Select Sites program was created in 2021 to increase the number of highly competitive industrial sites in the state that are available and ready to meet prospective companies’ needs. Twenty of the state’s top publicly owned industrial sites were evaluated by Greenville, SC-based Strategic Development Group, which was contracted by the state’s electric utilities. Of these sites, the following have been invited to apply for Select Sites funding, based on current funding availability:

Select sites 

  • Belwood Industrial Park, Adams County – $1,825,977 to complete levee construction and make drainage improvements
  • Ceres Research and Industrial Interplex – Site B, Warren County – $1,368,000 for stream mitigation, drainage improvements, water and sewer system improvements, and to design entrance improvements
  • I-59 South Site, Jones County – $553,600 for access roads and clearing
  • I-59 Supply Chain Park (at Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport), Jones County – $3,402,858 to upgrade sanitary sewer capacity; construct a building pad and complete intersection modifications
  • NorthStar Industrial Park, Oktibbeha County – $679,775 for wetlands permitting and mitigation; clearing, grubbing and grading; and developing an all-access road
  • Springs Industrial Park, Marshall County – $346,875 to thin and clear trees 
  • University of Southern Mississippi – The Garden, Forrest County – $3,465,504 for clearing, grubbing and grading and construction of an access road

Gov. Reeves also has approved the NorthStar Industrial Park for ARC funding and invited the site to submit a full application for $2,719,102 in ARC SAAW funding. 

RESTORE Act funding in the amount of $8,927,940 also is assisting three projects with site development needs. The projects approved for RESTORE Act funds, administered by the Department of Environmental Quality, are:

  • Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport – $4,180,000 for site development work at a 241-acre economic development site at the airport
  • Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission – $2,547,940 for engineering/design and site development work at Site #13 at Stennis International Airport
  • Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission – $2,200,000 for site development at Hancock County Tech Park at Stennis International Airport

“MDA commends each of these communities for taking the initiative to ensure their sites are competitive and ready to meet the unique needs of companies across a wide range of sectors,” said MDA Interim Executive Director Laura Hipp. “Mississippi is an ideal place to do business, and the further development of these industrial sites is yet another attribute we can add to our strong portfolio of competitive business advantages.”

News Release

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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