Jones County could see new industrial-type businesses

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 9:19 PM CDT
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JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The Jones County Board of Supervisors is looking at options to attract more companies and jobs.

One tool is using and expanding on previously established General Obligation Bonds.

“The county has created an economic development fund that’s sitting out there waiting for new and expanding industries that are looking at coming into Jones County or available to existing industries within Jones County that meet a certain threshold,” said Ross Tucker, President, Jones Co. Economic Development Authority.

In simple terms, the General Obligation Bonds are used by the county to construct or update infrastructures like roads and buildings.

“It’s to get public infrastructure to a certain place in order for the creation of jobs and investment within the county,” Tucker said.

According to Tucker, the bonds are paid for through a, ‘fee in lieu,’ payment structure, meaning businesses pay a fee instead of taxes to generate revenue for the county.

“A lot of these instances, these would be taking place currently where there’s no taxes being collected because you have publicly-owned industrial parks and business parks and things of that nature to where there’s absolutely no revenue being generated right now to where if something does come in there, automatically day one you start generating revenue for all the different county services as well as the schools,” Tucker said.

Tucker says the focus of the bonds is on industrial, distribution and warehouse-type businesses. He says in addition to available land at places like the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport and Howard Technology Park, there are other places within the county the infrastructure could be built.

“The EDA and the county, we have 473 acres of rail access industrial land that is readily available, has gone through all the due diligence. We’ve drawn all the pretty things as it relates to conceptually what could go on to a large industrial footprint in that. And ultimately, that is where we are focusing on potentially utilizing some of these funds,” Tucker said.

Monday’s discussion was the first step in this approval process. The Board of Supervisors is set to vote to accept or decline the resolution for the bonds at its next meeting in August.

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