The Mississippi Development Authority recently awarded 17 Site Development Grants totaling more than $2.7 million to economic development organizations and local governments throughout the state. The Premier Site and Ready Site programs assist in developing site-ready locations to attract more jobs and capital investment to the state.
“The site work proposed by these 17 organizations is evidence of their commitment to developing qualified available sites to meet the needs of prospective industries in today’s dynamic economy,” said MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr. “MDA is proud to support the important work being undertaken in these communities to prepare these sites for industrial development, which will enhance the competitiveness of the sites, the local communities and the entire state of Mississippi.”
The Premier Site and Ready Site grants awarded are:
11 Premier Sites totaling $2,518,834
- East Mississippi Business Development Corporation (Lauderdale County) – $250,000 for site clearing and earthwork, resulting in a 310-acre, rough-graded site at the I-20/I-59 Industrial Park
- Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport Authority (Harrison County) – $42,284 to prepare a Section 404 permit for submittal to DMR/USACE for wetlands mitigation and construction approval at the 241-acre John Hill Blvd. Site at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport
- Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission – $250,000 to develop a technical plan for infrastructure development, parcel sitting and wetlands mitigation planning at the newly acquired 846-acre site at the Stennis International Airport (totals 1,246 acres); includes cultural resources and endangered species assessments
- Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport Authority (Jones County) – $250,000 for clearing and grubbing 166 acres (of the most developable 212-acre site) at the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport and grading a roadbed leading into the site
- Itawamba County – $250,000 for sewer system improvements at the 140-acre Fawn Grove Industrial Park in Fulton to increase the sewer capacity; county is also doing grading work at the site
- Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (Rankin County) – $250,000 to clear and grub 100 acres at the 808-acre Jackson Metro Aeroplex site at the Jackson airport, do roadway earthwork and water/sewer improvements
- Madison County Economic Development Authority – $250,000 to construct a road to provide access into 325 acres of the 1,027-acre Madison County Megasite
- The University of Southern Mississippi (Forrest County) – $250,000 to update the development concept and master plan for the 505-acre Innovation and Commercialization Park; also updating due diligence, demolishing outdated structures, building out infrastructure and adding signage
- Union County – $250,000 to construct a 12-inch water main leading into the 200-acre (145-developable acreage) Martintown North Industrial Park
- Warren County Port Commission – $226,500 to conduct due diligence on 200-acre Site B at the Ceres Industrial Park along I-20; also doing testing and design for an access road
- Yellow Creek State Inland Port Authority (Tishomingo County) – $250,000 to update due diligence and grade, shape and surface the existing access road into the park and construct a pad at the Yellow Creek Port South Premier Site
Six Ready Sites totaling $218,600
- Economic Development Authority of Jones County – $8,350 to update due diligence on 174 acres of the 442-acre, rail-served I-59 South Site
- Harrison County Development Commission – $50,000 for clearing and grubbing 72 acres in the Bernard Bayou Industrial District and related design and engineering work
- Meridian Airport Authority (Lauderdale County) – $50,000 to grade and level a levy at the 130-acre Key Brothers Aviation Site at the Meridian Regional Airport and mitigate low-lying areas with the fill
- Prentiss County Development Commission – $50,000 to install a new, paved access road to the 55-plus-acre West Prentiss Site; the road will give direct access from Mississippi 45 to the site; also grading and leveling to increase the size/functionality of the pad from seven to 24 acres
- Rankin First EDA (Rankin County) – $50,000 to clear and grub 27.5 acres at the EMC Preferred Site at the East Metro Center Industrial Park, bringing cleared acreage to 50
- Warren County Port Commission – $50,000 for due diligence on the 55-acre Site C at the Ceres Industrial Park
In addition, the MDA is now accepting applications for another round of site development grants. Two types of property qualify for the grants: Ready Sites and Premier Sites. The Ready Site program requires a 100 percent direct local match, a minimum of 20 acres, and the site must be work-ready within six months and must be capable of having utilities on site within 12 months. Ready Sites are eligible to receive up to $50,000 in funding.
The Premier Site program requires a 100 percent direct local match, a minimum of 100 acres and a labor force to attract the intended market. Applicants also must submit a workforce study. Premier Sites must have attributes that distinguish them from other properties, such as being in high-demand locations, having large-scale, “mega”-development acreage or having significant utility infrastructure already in place. Premier Sites are eligible to receive up to $250,000 in funding.
MDA will give priority to sites served by railways or with airport or port access. Eligible applicants include cities, counties and public or private non-profit economic development entities, such as local authorities, commissions or other groups created by local and private legislation.