Board excited about future


Madison County’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is ramping up to bring more businesses and high-paying jobs to the area.

Matt Newton, who has been president for about a month, serves on a volunteer basis as one of 14 members. Coordinator Delores Williams is the corporation’s only paid employee.

As the county’s chief appraiser, Newton was an obvious choice to serve as president. He’s been on the board for several years, along with the County Judge C.E. “Butch” McDaniel, Commissioner Phillip Grisham and City Manager Camilla Viator.

“The mission of the EDC is to promote Madison County,” Newton said. “We recruit businesses. We’re looking for anything that will benefit Madison County. Incentives are up to the taxing jurisdictions. Our job is to put them all in the same room. We want high employment numbers and high-paying jobs. We’ll listen to anybody.”

The city’s location at Interstate 45 and Texas 21 is optimal for manufacturing, technology and shipping industries.

“We’re looking for the magic bullet,” Newton said, noting that they are using the website and social media to promote available land locally. They just sold the last lot at the county’s industrial park but are looking for a site where a second industrial park could be developed.

The group used to meet once a quarter but is now negotiating with Chattanooga Skydiving Company to use the city-owned local airport and will be gathering more frequently. They’re also devising a priority list for the coming year.

Newton, who has worked at the Madison County Appraisal District for 15 years, said he knows the area and is familiar with its tax roll information, and knows how budgets are developed. He also owns Lone Star Cleaners and thus has knowledge of operating a small business.

“The folks that are here understand the advantages of Madisonville,” he said. “We just have to get it out there.”

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