Local Economy Status

There's optimism about the economic future for Lauderdale County.

County administrator Joe McCraney says that the strategic and patient approach that the county has used to handle public funds is paying off. For several years Lauderdale County has reported zero growth financially. However, this year, McCraney says that will change. He credits the change to developments that are spawning from one county over at the construction site for the lignite coal plant in Kemper.

"If you've noticed all of these pipe lines and transmission lines that are coming all the way through the county from the Kemper County plant, all of that is taxable and it will go on the public utility roll. So, where your house is taxed at 10%, these are taxed at 30%. We know that we'll have some growth from that this year and that's going to be positive."

McCraney says the exact economic impact of the work that's being done for the coal plant will be revealed this summer when the public utility roll is released in August. However, he says the financial impact of the plant will last much longer.

"The apartments are full. You've got a lot of people living in them and it will be like that for the next couple of months until the plant is completed. So, we've experienced a good financial shot with that being up there.'

Currently, peak construction at the coal plant site is underway and 3,500 people work there. The plant is expected to open next May.
The total cost for the lignite coal plant project is $3.75 billion.