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Development Authority explores strategic plan for White County

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Members of the White County Development Authority hear a report from Patrick Larson with Georgia Mountains Regional Commission.. (Dean Dyer/wrwh.com)

(Cleveland)- The White County Development Authority has agreed to move forward with an Economic Development Strategic  Plan for the county.

During a meeting Tuesday the board heard from Patrick Larson, Senior Project Manager with Georgia Mountains Regional Commission who provide them with details about an Appalachian Regional  Commission grant program that could be used to pay for the research and development of a plan.

John Sell, White County Economic Development Director said, “That plan long term would be used kinda as a road map for where the county goes to develop economic development in the future. So it might identify things that we might need like infrastructure, marketing. It might identify strengths, weaknesses of some target industries or commercial entities we might  want to target for our area.”

The grants are offered to counties like White that provide 50 percent matching funds. They’re to be used for entrepreneurial and business development strategies, and to improve the education, knowledge, skills, and the health of residents. The grants may also be invested in the critical infrastructure of the county.

Board member John Erbele said, “ I think this body needs a plan, a roadmap.”

When completed, the plan will be incorporated into the White County’s overall comprehensive plan, which comes up for review next year.

The next step in the process is to have the county commissioners approve a request that instructs GMRC to work with the development authority on the project.

By: Dean Dyer | WRWH News

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