By Leslie N. Dees
The Star Herald
The next step in a proposed four-county economic development alliance was made October 25 at the Rustic Kitchen in Four Corners as the mayors of Carthage, Kosciusko, Louisville and Philadelphia presented the initial plan to their county counterparts, aldermen and other officials, including their areas economic development people.
The four mayors have been working on the joint venture for about a year in hopes of bringing industry to the area in the future, Kosciusko Mayor Jimmy Cockroft said.
“It was never our intention to leave anyone out,” Cockroft said, noting this was the reason for the meeting.
Carthage Mayor Jimmy Wallace discussed the next step.
“You are here for one reason, he said. “You are here to make your community better and find people in your community meaningful jobs.”
“Ideally, we would all agree . . . at our respective boards . . . that we are going to move forward and take care of the legal work to organize this organization,” Wallace said.
Sample resolutions were presented to each municipality and county in attendance.
After organization of the legal paperwork, Wallace said three officials should be appointed from each of the four counties to work out the agreement, approve the marketing piece and return with the fee to pay for the marketing from each area.
Wallace encouraged the officials to go home and talk with their boards.
“All we are doing is pretty simple – We are banding four counties and the tribe’s resources together to recruit industry to our area,” Wallace said.
“We are not inventing a new wheel,” Wallace said, adding that several other counties have already formed their economic alliances. “Our area may be behind in inventing this wheel.”
With the busy holiday season coming, Wallace encouraged everyone to action on the “next step” in forming the alliance.
Cockroft said he would like to see the group formed by January.
The response from those in attendance was in favor of developing the organization.