EDA of Jones County Receives $50,000 “Cooperative Competes” Grant

Cooperative Energy and its local member distribution cooperative, Dixie Electric Power Association, awarded the Economic Development Authority (EDA) of Jones County’s I-59 South Industrial Site a $50,000 grant from the “Cooperative Competes” grant program. The program seeks to increase the competitiveness of industrial sites in Cooperative Energy and Dixie Electric’s service areas. 

“Electric cooperatives are unique because we’re owned by those we serve—our Members—and we strive to make a difference, not a profit,” said Jeff C. Bowman, Cooperative Energy president and CEO. “Our team’s commitment is to improve the quality of life in the communities our Members serve, and the Cooperative Competes program is a prime example of this commitment.” 

The I-59 South Industrial Site is a large tract of property marketed towards future heavy industrial development. The property is adjacent to the Norfolk Southern main rail line and minutes from Interstate 59, providing superb logistic access to potential companies. The southern 265 acres of the I-59 South Industrial Site are in Dixie Electric’s service territory. 

Randy Smith, Dixie Electric general manager, understands the importance of recruiting new industry and jobs to the region. “We’re thankful to be a part of an organization like Cooperative Energy that recognizes the need to support our local communities”, said Smith. “Dixie Electric is pleased to play a part in helping to drive economic development in Jones County and lay a strong foundation for the future”. 

The I-59 South Industrial Site also recently received funds from the Mississippi Development Authority for site development. The EDA has plans to use the grant funds from the Cooperative Competes program and MDA to finish clearing the site, build an all-weather road through the site, and add signage at the entrance. These site improvements will aid marketing efforts by making the 446-acre tract of land more visible and attractive to potential new industries. 

“Dixie Electric and Cooperative Energy have been strong partners to the EDA as we continue to work on the I-59 South Industrial Site. They care about the communities they serve, and this investment is a great example,” said Ross Tucker, president and CEO, EDA of Jones County.