Simpson County Health Care Zone Master Plan

On November 19th, CMPDD unveiled the Health Care Zone Master Plan, Living Well in Simpson County, to members of the Simpson County Economic Development District at a meeting held on the campus of Co-Lin College in Mendenhall. The meeting was attended by community leaders, mayors, and stakeholders. The County’s Health Care Zone encompasses two five-mile radials around Magee General Hospital and Simpson General Hospital in Mendenhall. The Master Plan examines the existing health care industry within the County, explores opportunities for growth of the industry, and provides policy recommendations for future expansion. Specifically, the District conducted an analysis of existing land use and demographic data, and conducted stakeholder interviews, which resulted in an asset map of the community and existing local industries. A target demand study and a marketing/public relations strategy focusing on healthcare enterprises and local “centers of excellence” that may benefit from health care related development incentives were also developed. As part of this project, CMPDD conducted an analysis and quantification of economic influence/ growth outcomes based on projected estimates of economic activity associated with health care industry enterprises. CMPDD also developed a site master plan for the areas identified as “health care clusters” by stakeholders and local officials. The Master Plan, through land use and zoning recommendations, will integrate local development codes and assist with the establishment of a local healthcare zone, or district. Finally, CMPDD developed a web-based GIS mapping application and viewer. In order for a county to qualify as a Health Care Zone, a county must be part of a three county contiguous area that contains a minimum of 375 or more acute care hospital beds, or the county must be able to demonstrate a minimum investment of $250 million in a hospital since July 1, 2012. For Health Care Zones with less than 375 hospital beds as defined above, a master plan must be developed by an AICP certified planner with experience in working in Mississippi. Additionally, the Health Care Zone must encompass an area within a 5-mile radius of a hospital with a certificate of need. The Health Care Master Plan is designed to be economic development tool for communities to follow in order to facilitate health care job creation and wealth. CMPDD has AICP certified planners on staff and is available to assist local governments with the development and preparation of Health Care Master Plans. Certified businesses located within a Health Care Zone are eligible to receive the following incentives through the Mississippi Health Care Industry Zone Incentive Program: • An accelerated, 10-year state income tax depreciation deduction • A sales tax exemption for equipment and materials purchased from the date of the project’s certification until three months after the facility is completed. In addition, the program allows counties and cities to grant a property tax “fee in lieu” for 10 years for any certified project with an investment of more than $10 million or a 10-year ad valorem tax exemption at the city or county’s discretion. Certified companies can also qualify for other Mississippi incentive programs.

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