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Mayor attends institute: Brown gets feedback on tricentennial plans

NATCHEZ — The city’s 2016 tricentennial plans are getting a little help from a panel of experts at Tulane University this week.

Mayor Butch Brown is attending the Mayors’ Institute on City Design at the Tulane Regional Urban Design Center, where he will present the plans for the city’s “legacy projects” for the tricentennial. Experts in city planning, preservation, design and other fields will provide feedback on the plans.

Brown is among several other mayors across the Southeast who were invited to the institute. According to Tulane Regional Urban Design Center’s website, the center’s staff will visit each participating city and “guide the mayors in selecting and presenting design challenges from their respective cities, ensuring that each project presented is met with appropriate design and policy solutions from the assembled expert panel.”

Brown said he is presenting the city’s plans for the bluff, which include renovating the depot and repurposing it for a farmer’s market, a retail shop for the market, gardens and a playground.

The challenge for the plans, Brown said, is getting them completed quickly for the tricentennial.

“That is what (the experts) will be advising me on,” he said.

The highlight of the conference, Brown said, will be that expert feedback he receives for the tricentennial plans.

“They will quickly (say) you should be working on this not that or you should consider this before you consider that,” he said.

Brown said the feedback would be similar to what the city would get if it hired a consultant to review the plans.

“But here we have about 12 to 15 professionals in separate issue areas,” he said.

Brown said the conference is invite-only, and all expenses are covered by the institute.