The Starkville Board of Aldermen will consider approval of the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority’s annual budget at its 5:30 p.m. meeting today at City Hall.
If the board approves, a main item in the budget is the association’s $100,000 contribution to an agreement which would place interim economic development under the Golden Triangle LINK, the rebranded name for a consortium between Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha Counties while tri-county representatives work toward establishing a permanent development agency — the Golden Triangle Development Authority.
The board of aldermen and Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors each voted late last month in favor of pursuing the agreement. OCEDA’s contribution, plus an investment from the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, would amount to $200,000, while the county would pay $100,000 and the city would pay $50,000 for an annual total of $350,000.
“(The OCEDA budget) is similar to budgets the board has approved in recent years,” Mayor Parker Wiseman said. “The most significant change is to provide for OCEDA’s funding of the tri-county economic development portion.”
Establishment of a future consortium could have potential tax implications which may require a later millage increase if parties cannot find existing funding streams. Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins, who was not present when the board approved of joining the consortium, previously stated he was in favor of economic development but would vote against any measure involving a potential tax increase.
Also on the agenda is a report from recently appointed Director of Finance and City Clerk Taylor Adams, who will discuss changes in the department since he took office six months ago.