2007 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Montgomery, Aldridge, Franks, Gadd, Holland, Sullivan, Turner, Ward

House Concurrent Resolution 108


     WHEREAS, in 2000, visionaries from the Northeast Mississippi Counties of Pontotoc, Union and Lee formed the PUL Alliance in response to the Advantage Mississippi legislation that was passed by the Legislature in August 2000; and

     WHEREAS, the coalition of these counties that began seven  years ago, helped to facilitate the 2007 deal with Toyota that will result in a $1.5 Billion investment and the creation of over 2,000 jobs by Toyota in Blue Springs; and

     WHEREAS, the coalition worked together to have the Legislature enhance the original Advantage Mississippi legislation by revising it to allow neighboring counties to create partnerships that share expenses and revenues related to an economic development project, instead of limiting those expenses to the city or county in which the project was located; and

     WHEREAS, these counties again worked with the Legislature to improve the Advantage Mississippi legislation to allow these new partnerships to exist over multiple projects and not be limited to a one time short term deal, and this change was critical to the formation of the PUL Alliance which allowed them to plan as a region and lay the foundation for the current Toyota project; and

     WHEREAS, the PUL Alliance suffered a setback in 2003 when it lost a Toyota Tundra plant to San Antonio, Texas, but used this experience as a catalyst to improve the Wellspring site to better fit Toyota's needs; and

     WHEREAS, Toyota explained that two things were necessary to improve the site:  engineering information on the site and land ownership control; and

     WHEREAS, in 2003, important legislation known as the Rural Impact Act was signed into law and helped the PUL Alliance to obtain the engineering information needed by Toyota; and

      WHEREAS, because of this legislation, in October of 2003, Bill Renick, then Chief of Staff to former Governor Ronnie Musgrove, awarded a $250,000 grant to the PUL Alliance for a preliminary site development engineering plan that enabled the PUL Alliance to leverage the services of Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and after consideration and review in January 2005, TVA named the Wellspring site as the 3rd largest certified mega site in the seven state TVA region; and

     WHEREAS, with site certification, the PUL Alliance took the Wellspring project to the Automotive World Congress in
Barcelona, Spain, and introduced the project to the automotive industry; and

     WHEREAS, because land ownership control was still needed, in 2006, the PUL Alliance sought legislation to create an unprecedented partnership between local and state governments to secure ownership of the Wellspring Project site; and

     WHEREAS, in spite of the Mississippi House of Representatives' foresight to pass legislation to create this unprecedented new partnership, the legislation ultimately failed; and

     WHEREAS, despite the failed legislation, the tenacity and vision of the boards of supervisors of these counties motivated them to pass three resolutions allowing Three Rivers Planning and Development District to begin purchasing over $10 Million to gain control of the land; and

     WHEREAS, over the past seven years, many unprecedented partnerships and collaborations were created as a result of the  vision of economic development by Pontotoc, Union and Lee Counties, and the economic development and business leaders in these counties for the citizens of Northeast Mississippi; and

     WHEREAS, it is the policy of this Legislature to recognize the contributions of Mississippi counties which work together for the good of the citizens of our state:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend Pontotoc, Union and Lee (PUL) Counties for having the vision to form the PUL Alliance and recognize its contributions in facilitating the Wellspring site for the Toyota plant.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to members of the Boards of Supervisors for Pontotoc, Union and Lee Counties and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.