Economic Development

Working together is the key to succeed. That's the philosophy of business and government leaders in Neshoba County. Thursday night leaders from the community attended an appreciation banquet, recognizing local industries.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week a delegation made up of representative from the city, county and Choctaw tribe along with officials from the Neshoba Regional Hospital and the local airport went to Washington to meet with state members of Congress.

The outcome:

"We feel like this year was the most positive year of the years that we've gone up there," says Philadelphia Mayor Rayburn Waddell. "We know that we won't get everything we ask for but we feel like we'll get sufficient funding for some of our projects down here."

Some of those projects include improving roads. Currently there is a House bill in Congress, which calls for $2.75 million for two transportation projects in Neshoba County, one that would include the four-laning of Highway 19 from Meridian to Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, another project presented to the congressional leaders was the need for expansion of the county's airport. With it sometime filled with aircraft, airport officials say they're optimistic about the outcome.

"I think they were all real positive about the airport," says Philadelphia Municipal Airport Commissioner Brent Gray. "Sometimes in the recent weekends, Sen. Cochran had been in here and saw how congested our airport was."

Other issues presented to congressional leaders expansion of the county's only hospital and proposals on what to do with the soon to be vacant U.S. Motors building in Philadelphia. The next step for local leaders is to send written requests to congressional leaders.

As for if or when the requests will be granted, only time will tell.