A rotary meeting today was filled with Jackson County news. The State of the County Address educated the audience on what the county has done as well as what's next. The Board of Supervisors have had quite a year, and new President of the Board, Supervisor Troy Ross, took a look back at recent accomplishments, as well as a list of projects the county plans to see in the coming year. Ross touted his county's growth today to a room full of Pascagoula residents. Ross says, “Even in an economy that has been struggling, Jackson County has continued to see major economic development from some of their major corporations in the area.” On that list are Chevron’s P-Bot project and the growth happening at the Port of Pascagoula, where trees that have been ground up into pellets are shipped to Europe for energy. These are two major corporations investing in the county.
Ross also says, “The P-Bot project with Chevron is over 1.2 billion dollars. The economic impact as far as the port expansions, you’re talking about 44 million dollars.” The county has also become greener, going from recycling bins to wheeled carts, which has led to doubled recycling rates throughout the area. Ross says, "Everything that we recycle means that’s less that goes in the landfill, and that’s good for environmental reasons, but that’s also good for economic reasons.” With recent accomplishments moving the county forward, county officials are most excited about what will be built by spring of next year. Ross also says, "The jail is the one I love talking about it already after two years." The new jail will join the new Department of Corrections building, the last of Jackson County's Katrina projects, that was opened a month ago. Ross closes, “It’s over a decade and a half. I know there’s some people that have been with the county that long, and they’ve been dealing with this the whole time. A jail is another one of those things people don't care about until there is a need for one."
After lawsuits from inmates and an overcrowding issue, a new detention center that will have double the housing capacity is yet another project the county is happy to cross of their to-do list. In addition to all the growth, Supervisor Ross is also proud of improvements to recreational facilities throughout the county, saying that safer, family-oriented locations are what holds the community together.