Panola Plaza facelift

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 23, 2011

NDPDD seeking grant to help Panola Plaza facelift

By John Howell Sr.

The Panola Plaza Shopping Center could get a facelift pending a successful application by the City of Batesville for a $50,000 Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) grant to improve corridors leading to downtown business districts.

North Delta Planning and Development District (NDPDD) Executive Director James Curcio told the city’s mayor and aldermen about the new grant program at their Tuesday, September 20 meeting.
Curcio had met with Panola Partnership CEO Sonny Simmons and Batesville Mayor Jerry Autrey Tuesday morning to inform them of the program, he said.

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The Retail Center Revitalization Program comes through NDPDD working with Panola Partnership and other local entities, Curcio added.

“The main thing we need is for the city to partner with us on it,” Curcio said. He said that no city funds would be used for the $50,000 match required for the grant. Property owner Jimmy Eubanks would be required to contribute the required $50,000 minimum match, Curcio said.

The city’s responsibility will include design and planning approval through the planning commission and board of aldermen, he added.

The NDPDD executive director said that the new MDA grant was “very unusual.”
Simmons said that the application process would be “highly competitive.”

“The timing of it is real important,” the Partnership CEO said.

Aldermen unanimously approved the city’s participation.