Engineer Terrell Temple, who was employed to help develop Lauderdale County's new industrial park, was at the meeting in Atlanta when the request was made. He reports it went very well.
"We presented positive information about the project and they told us we could have about a 95 percent assurance that we would receive a grant of $1.7 million to assist in extending water and sewer to the new industrial park," said Temple.
The final decision should be received some time this fall, according to Temple.
"We're probably looking at somewhere from 60 to 90 days to them being able to finalize and tell us that a grant will be forthcoming," said the engineer. "Their fiscal year ends Sept. 30. They're out of money for this year so our appropriation would come out of next year's money."
Some have suggested, since the city has already committed spending a matching $1.7 million for the project, that they just go ahead and get started. Temple said that isn't possible.
"The EDA requires 50 cents of local expenditure for every 50 cents they put in the project," said Temple. "If we spend our money now we don't have the matching funds for the grant."
Temple said the work could start in late winter or early summer of 2003. He said, based on recent inquiries by several industries, he is convinced the new industrial park will be a very hot property when it is completed.