MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) — Last year when Pike County Economic Development District officials asked the Board of Supervisors to more than double its budget, supervisors said they wanted to see results first.
Now, with a $100 million wood pellet mill and $3 million industrial park in the works, economic officials say they've complied with that request.
The Enterprise-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1sOjXZo) economic district officials are asking supervisors to allocate $550,000 after learning the budget proposal on the table provides only $353,000.
Economic district board member James Wicker said last year's request to increase the budget from $295,000 to $600,000 "put everybody in shock."
Supervisors then raised the district's budget to $317,000. Using funding from other sources, the economic district pulled in a total of $450,000.
The biggest need is staffing, Wicker said. Currently the district employs three people: executive director Wayne Sterling, Tuscaloosa marine shale specialist Britt Herrin and administrative assistant Eliece Rayborn.
"Three people is not enough to handle the number of projects we've got going,"?Wicker said, suggesting the district needs a "project manager type."
Economic district board president Shelby Smith said other costs go along with recruiting industry.
"Every one of these projects (has) a lot of legal fees involved with them, surveying fees that have to come out of budget that we never had before," Smith said.
Supervisors acknowledged the economic officials' argument and said they will consider the new budget request.
"They have worked hard," said Supervisor Gary Honea.
Information from: Enterprise-Journal, http://www.enterprise-journal.com