Editor’s Note: This article appeared in the Ringling Eagle on October 25, 2018. A special thanks to Melissa Grace, editor of the Ringling Eagle, for allowing us to publish it here.

Trustees listened to Brian McGahey describe the role of the Jefferson County Development Authority, which was charted in May 2018, during the town board meeting on Monday, October 15.

McGahey said, “The goal of this development authority is to work together with all the communities in Jefferson County to make sure Jefferson county will rise and thrive. We want to stimulate the economic development of our county.”

“We want to see what each city has and bring it under the umbrella of the county,” McGahey said. “We want ot raise the tax base, attract more employees, and raise school attendance by having people move in.”

“We need a list of available buildings in each community that could be available for business,” McGahey said. “We’re gathering info up for a brochure on what Jefferson County has to offer. We need to know about each town’s infrastructure – water pressure, internet, etc. It’s a big thing to understand the infrastructure we have.”

“We’re willing to get involved with the city if you want us to help. I want my kids to have the opportunity to come back,” McGahey said.

McGahey is one of seven board members. Other board members of the public trust that reports to the Jefferson county commissioners included Lauren Nitschke, Brent Wade, Gary Duncan, Sharon Duncan, Carter Waid, and Dylan Sheffield.

“Jefferson County’s previous economic development board (JCEDA) had some IRS issues with a tax lien – which have been resolved. That entity has been shut down and this entity is a new entity with a complete new board,” McGahey said. “We are a volunteer board that meets the first Monday of each month at 2:00 pm. at the courthouse. We are looking at taking turns meeting in each of the Jefferson County towns.”

McGahey noted former Ardmore Development Authority director Wes Stuckey had spent a couple of hours with the new Jefferson County Development Board at a board meeting in early October.