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Save it, don’t spend it, please

Government is really good at one thing — spending other people’s money.

That’s the nature of the machine that gets created with big, representative government.

The cash appetite is huge at the federal level — mind-boggling, even — but the same thing occurs at the state and local level, too

So it’s with great concern we ask members of the Natchez Board of Aldermen to do something perhaps unprecedented in government — save, don’t spend.

The City of Natchez has, largely through the bulldogged determination of former Natchez mayors Jake Middleton and Phillip West, finally landed a second casino.

The new Magnolia Bluffs Casino is important to the City of Natchez because it rests on city property and thus pays a hefty $1 million in annual lease payments to the city.

Of the first year’s $1 million payment, City Clerk Donnie Holloway estimated last week that approximately $481,000 remains.

Before the remaining dollars become whittled away on small projects and urgent “needs,” and before next year’s lease payment is committed, we urge aldermen to think long and hard before spending it all.

Aside from the $1 million annual lease payment, at the moment the city estimates it will earn approximately $28,000 per month from oil wells on city property near the Natchez City Cemetery.

Combined, that’s approximately $111,000 per month that is now coming into the city coffers that was not there last year.

Natchez has received the proverbial gift horse. Let’s not look it in the mouth or ride it until it drops. Let’s consider the gift’s long-term value to the community, if we can just have the fortitude not to spend it.