Economic growth becoming a reality in Yazoo County

By JAMIE PATTERSON,

Things are looking bright for Yazoo County with many programs, funding and improvements heading its way thanks to the diligence of county leaders.

The Yazoo County Board of Supervisors and the Yazoo County Economic Development District have pursued and acquired a number of grants and other funding assistance that will push the community forward with economic growth and infrastructure improvements.

Aside from beneficial grants, the work force within Yazoo County is growing. Cobie Collins, president of both of Board of Supervisors and the Economic Development District, said the recent Yazoo County Job Fair was proof of that growth.

“One of the largest Yazoo County Job Fairs ever held took place at the Armory on May 14 this year with over 37 registered job employers participating,” Collins said.

Collins said a significant accomplishment among county leaders was the completion of a self-evaluation of needed infrastructure improvements that was provided to the Mississippi legislature in the 2018 Legislative session.

Thanks to Senators Briggs Hopson and Buck Clarke and Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, the county was provided $700,000 to assist with the construction, improvement and paving of Rialto Road, Levee Road and River Road at the Port of Yazoo.

“We continue to be extremely indebted to and grateful for Senators Hopson and Clarke and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves for going to bat for us for this needed funding,” Collins said. “We also have other significant economic development allies that have been absolutely great in supporting some of Yazoo County’s recent projects.”

The Mississippi Development Authority Community Services Division also approved a 2018 Small Municipalities and Limited Population Grant in the amount of $150,000 to assist Yazoo County in the repair and rehab of the county-owned AMCO facility on Highway 3.

“AMCO has been in Yazoo City since 1963 and continues to manufacture some of the world’s finest heavy-duty tillage equipment,” Collins said. “Yazoo County is matching the award with $30,000 to assist in completing these repairs.”

The Yazoo County Economic Development District also successfully prepared a $900,000 Mississippi Development Authority Airport Revitalization Revolving Loan request to assist the Yazoo County Airport with construction of a new “fuel farm” and “ag-apron.”

In January 2019, The Mississippi Department of Transportation recently awarded Yazoo County $4,500,000 in the Emergency Roads and Bridge Repair Fund to repair and replace the Powell Road Bridge and the Anding Oil City Road bridge.

The Yazoo County Beat 3 Volunteer Fire station, located at 171 Old Benton Road, will also benefit from a $50,000 USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Grant to assist with financing the construction of a new 5,600-square-foot ambulance facility addition.

The Yazoo County Economic Development District was also one of 14 organizations in the state that was recently was awarded a $4,500 Entergy Mississippi Excellerator Competitive Communities Program matching grant to assist in the design and development of a new economic development website for the YCEDD.

“Yazoo County is fortunate to have economic development partners like Entergy Mississippi that has also assisted Yazoo County in covering costs for participation in a recent ACT Work Ready Communities ‘boot camp’ in Senatobia held at Northwest Mississippi Community College,” Collins said.

Even with the recent success behind the county’s efforts, leaders continue to look forward to the future. The Yazoo County Board of Supervisors submitted a 2019 Recreation Economy for Rural Communities application on May 20 through the United States Environmental Protection Agency to explore new strategies and opportunities for county-owned outdoor recreational facilities. 

The county will also be applying for a $2.5 million dollar housing grant to assist victims of the backwater flooding.

“It is the collective efforts of allies like our state and federal Legislative leaders, Mississippi Development Authority, Holmes Community College, The Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, Mississippi Department of Employment Security, MDOT, Entergy Mississippi, USDA Rural Development and the financial support of our local leaders and stakeholders working together that keep Yazoo County moving forward,” Collins said.