Letter signed that will recruit industry to area

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 16, 2003

It wasn’t a new announcement Governors Bob Riley and Ronnie Musgrove made earlier this week. It was news, nonetheless.

On Thursday, Riley and Musgrove made it official that they’ll work together to recruit industry along the Alabama-Mississippi line, hoping to land a major manufacturer that would bring much-needed jobs to areas like Alabama’s Black Belt.

While Riley and Musgrove made it abundantly clear that an agreement between the two states would include sites from the Gulf Cost to the Tennessee border, Demopolis stands to benefit as much as any city if the two states target the areas they believe need the most help.

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The Riley and Musgrove administrations have singled out one area that may prove as the perfect site for a major manufacturer.

Just 30 miles West of Demopolis, Interstate 59/20 crosses the Alabama-Mississippi line in Cuba, Ala. Many people believe that is the location the two states will display to potential industries.

Along with Meridian, Miss. &045;&045; less than 20 miles from the site &045;&045; Demopolis could become a key player in recruiting tier one spin-off industries at such a site.

To Musgrove, that’s the point for every region on the Alabama-Mississippi border.

The symbolism of Riley and Musgrove signing a letter of intent is just that &045;&045; symbolism. The next step in this project will be the legislatures of both states crafting a bill that actually forms an alliance.

One of the issues the legislatures will have to consider is what percentage both Mississippi and Alabama place toward future incentive packages for prospective industries. And along with the expense, the two states must still determine what share of the revenue will be distributed to each state.

While there could be legal concerns and a number of petty details to work through in order to make the alliance work, Jones believes anything is a good thing for this area.