DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - What will DeSoto County look like in the next five, 10 and 20 years?
Northern Mississippi is expected to change drastically as the International Trade Corridor is built. The road will travel from Canada to Mexico with several miles of it running through DeSoto County.
The highway is bringing more than cars. New businesses and neighborhoods will be built. Leaders want residents involved every step of the way.
Interstate 69 and 269 are just ideas and dirt right now, but the roads won't stay that way for long. As soon as the International Trade Corridor is built, the county will develop along with it.
"They've gone through and looked at what kind of growth we can expect from I-269 and from that what kind of growth we'd like to see," says Tom Haysley, deputy planning director. The planning department is putting the finishing touches on what they'd like to see.
"They are two thirds of the way through it," Haysley says. It runs the gamut from neighborhoods and schools to parks and businesses. The plan was supposed to be done by the end of this year, but has been extended through June.
"It will give the consultant more time to come up with a more detailed list of recommendations," Haysley tells abc24.com. "It will also give us time to have public participation meetings scheduled early next year."
Haysley says that's the main reason they're extending the study: they want feedback. "We'll be getting public approval of the plan and seeing what needs to be tweaked."
Right now the entire concept is still a mystery. Haysley encourages everyone to attend the meetings to learn what will happen and give their input.
"Those recommendations will be used to create new policies and plans within the county."
Exact meeting dates have not been set. They will likely be held January through March.