OCEDA board adopts leaner budget

The Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority will operate with a leaner budget than last year’s, with several factors contributing to the dropoff, an official said.
The OCEDA board of directors adopted its current-year budget at its meeting Monday night.
Afterward, Board President Jack Wallace provided an overview on the essential differences between the near-term spending plan and the one for the previous year.
The 2009-2010 budget was about $693,000. The coming fiscal year is around $591,100.
The principal reason for the nearly $100,000 drop-off was a $48,974 Tennessee Valley Authority loan OCEDA paid off, Wallace said. A $40,000 grant no longer on the books and a break in rent to Camgian Microsystems also contributed to the smaller budget figure, Wallace said.
Camgian took over the space in the Multi-Tenant Building previously used by Cypress Semiconductors, and officials offered the company two years of rent-free space to “salvage 15 very professional jobs” and it has “been a very good investment,” Wallace said.
Camgian is slated to move into the new multi-tenant building across Research Boulevard from their current facility in the coming months.
Though the revenue from the city’s 2 percent food and beverage tax has been “really exceptional,” the budget is “bare bones” and officials are acting conservatively, Wallace said. OCEDA receives 15 percent of the receipts for the revenue stream.
In other matters, the OCEDA board:
• Heard GSDP President and CEO John Maynard says a study has been completed on an 1,143-acre first phase tract near the Hickory Grove Road interchange with U.S. Highway 82. Officials have said at least a portion of the property could be a potential site for development for heavy manufacturing.
“It’s ideally suited for a lot of things and we’ve made a step in the right direction with that ... property,” Maynard said Monday.
• Listened to Sturgis Mayor Walter Turner recap his efforts to find a suitable use for wood waste generated by the Sturgis Mat Co., a company which makes mats to support heavy equipment traveling in and out of soggy areas.
After the meeting, Maynard said he’s proposed to OCEDA that officials look into how best to market several potential industrial sites around Sturgis – including the mat company – and perform the required due diligence.
• Heard Maynard say Tennessee Valley Authority is helping to update a master plan for the Cornerstone Industrial Park and include possibilities for surrounding areas.
• Voted to keep Wallace as president, Joe Williams as vice president and Bobby McClelland as secretary-treasurer for the fiscal year.
• Met in executive session to discuss prospective business.