Port Commission chips in $20K to strategic plan

Published 6:19 pm Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Warren County Port Commission is contributing $20,000 toward developing an economic development strategic plan for Vicksburg and Warren County.

Pablo Diaz, port director and executive director for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, said port commissioners approved the allocation at a special meeting Tuesday.

“The $20,000 will match other funding by other institutions,” he said. “The money is being raised by the chamber. The chamber is one of the funding mechanisms, but it is raising the rest of the money from other institutions across the community.”

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The port commission and the chamber are looking for a coordinator to work with both organizations toward developing a strategic plan.

“We are looking at several proposals,” he said.

Port commissioners in June discussed the strategic plan.

At the time, Diaz said commissioners and the chamber would hold planning meetings dealing with specific potential initiatives in economic development. “They will encompass an entire vision of what direction we want to concentrate.”

That direction, Diaz said, would be determined by discussions during the planning stages.

“Those (planning stages) are really going to help us prioritize and define the most effective, most important aspects of the type of economic development we want to do.”

He told commissioners the plan would include traditional economic development, which includes promoting the Ceres Industrial Park and finding opportunities to expand develop the port, looking at other opportunities that Vicksburg is well situated to do, such as technology-related economic development and education-related economic development programs.

“There are many opportunities that we can take advantage of and I want the community to come together and decide which is the most important one. (So) We don’t go out chasing all kinds of things and we don’t get anything.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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