CANTON, Miss. (AP) — After years of being centered largely in the cities of Ridgeland and Madison, significant economic development in Madison County could be spreading out to other areas.

About 1,000 jobs were created in Canton last year when three vehicle brands were added to the Nissan plant, and another 300 jobs are expected when a Wal-Mart Supercenter opens this year, The Clarion-Ledger ( reported.

Tim Coursey, executive director of the Madison County Economic Development Authority, says a tractor supply store has been built near the Wal-Mart site. Wal-Mart should bring in new customers for area convenience stores and restaurants, he said.

The county also is looking to lure more big employers by establishing a "megasite" where there's plenty of available land.

Coursey said more details soon will be announced.

Only a handful of sites in Mississippi have earned "megasite" status.

A 60-acre site near the Camden community in northern Madison County could become home to a park including ball fields, walking trails and a lake. Some residents there say the development will bring more business opportunity to a part of the county that remains largely rural, while others worry about park security and potential flooding from the lake.


Information from: The Clarion-Ledger,