Economic good news, but to what degree remains to be seen

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018

Some good economic news came to Vicksburg and Warren County this week, but how good is yet to be seen.

Within hours Tuesday, ground was broken for the long awaited sports complex and details emerged of when and how many people will be employed once the former Anderson-Tully facility reopens.

Both projects are welcome news to our area for a variety of reasons.

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The $26 million Sports Force on the Mississippi complex is expected to be state-of-the-art with ballfields and a facility that will draw out-of-town guests from all over Mississippi and as far away as Texas to compete in tournaments.

Those individuals are expected to spend their money in our restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions and local businesses, increasing the tax revenue for our community.

It’s a concept that is not new as more and more communities look to draw visitors with family attractions to replace dwindling tax bases that are hard hit with more consumers shopping online instead of their local stores.

Gov. Phil Bryant spoke glowingly of the 125 “new” jobs being created with the reopening of Vicksburg Forest Products at the former Anderson-Tully sawmill, which laid off 158 people prior to the sale. The facility has been making upgrades in a switch from producing hardwood to mainly southern yellow pine and is expected to open in the next month.

Bryant also boasted that he is coming back in a few weeks to make another major economic announcement “for Warren County and the city of Vicksburg, right here in the best place for economic development I think in the state of Mississippi.”

We look forward to what that might be, but the question remains, to what degree will the new sports complex have on our area and how many of the 158 people who lost their jobs when Anderson-Tully closed will be returning to their former worksite with Vicksburg Forest Products.