By PAUL SIMS
Plans are in the works for community leaders to go to Washington, D.C. sometime in the spring, a local economic development official said Tuesday.
One of the things officials hope to discuss with officials in Washington is funding for a second, western entrance to George M. Bryan Field Airport that ties into the entrance to Cornerstone Industrial Park, Greater Starkville Development Partnership President and CEO Jon Maynard said.
“Part of the conversation ... when we go to Washington is that we say, ‘This is something we need to tie in the airport with Cornerstone for that aerospace research development component and having that physical tie is very important to us,’” Maynard said.
He made his comments about this specific project in answering a question at Tuesday’s GSDP Board meeting about Cornerstone Park, a 222-acre property on Starkville’s southwest corner to the west of Bryan Field and across Highway 25.
The item regarding the airport entrance is one of several things borne out of discussions between city, county, GSDP and Mississippi State University officials.
Representatives meet monthly to discuss various issues and the Starkville Board of Aldermen and Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors convene jointly on a quarterly basis.
“We’ve been speaking quite a bit about the master planning and how we need to fit everything we’ve got going independently together to make one big happy family,” Maynard said Tuesday when talking about the monthly meetings.
Officials hope to announce specifics on the Washington trip soon, he said.
In a separate matter, Maynard explained to the board there are a few matters left to wrap up with a project to provide Flexsteel with a single power meter to allow the company to qualify for discounted electricity rates.
In November, the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority board authorized a payment of $52,378 to the Starkville Electric Department to bring together the meters.
Maynard said the physical work has been completed.
Back in November, Maynard said there were concerns that utility rates were higher at sister plants in Georgia and Arkansas.
He also said at the time: “Companies like Flexsteel have to compete internally for plant enhancements and expansion projects.
The local community plays an integral role in adding value to the business and its employees. Without these plant enhancements and expansion projects, the communities stand to lose the businesses altogether.”