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BY MARY GARRISON
The Golden Triangle Development LINK is looking to take things to the next level in economic development. Joe Max Higgins, chief executive officer for the LINK, announced Tuesday the agency would begin a restructuring process aimed at bringing in future projects and cultivating those already in the works in Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties.
Higgins said the group â€”Â which was responsible in part for bringing the Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Plant project to West Point â€” would begin making the shift to a quasi development authority, taking on an executive board composed of the four representatives from each county which serve on the LINKâ€™s board of directors and additional staff. The LINK would house a staff solely dedicated to economic development, as well as new staff dedicated to the Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce, according to Higgins.
â€śOur goal to bring the GTR together to achieve exponential economic development results has been successful,â€ť said Gordon Flowers, GTR LINK chairman and member of the steering committee, in a statement issued to the media. â€śWe currently have projects under construction in all three counties; evidence that speaks to the infinite potential of our region.â€ť
The authority would run under the existing LINK model rather than moving to a full-blown development authority, a move Higgins said would prove beneficial and save each county a considerable sum. Presently, Clay County contributes $350,000 to the LINK divided into $150,000 each between West Point and the county and $50,000 from the West Point-Clay County Growth Alliance.
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