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Mississippi River thoughts welcomed

NATCHEZ — Natchez just wants to hold onto the riverfront it still has.

That’s the message Natchez Mayor Butch Brown said he would present to the Mississippi River Commission when it arrives in Natchez on its annual high-water inspection trip Thursday.

The MRC makes semi-annual inspections of the Mississippi River, starting at its headwaters in Minnesota and stopping where the river flows into the Gulf of Mexico at Head of Passes, La. The goal of the trip is for the public to share its thoughts and ideas with the MRC — which studies and makes policy and work recommendations for flood control and navigation projects along the river — and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

At each stop the commission hosts a public hearing to discuss national, regional and local projects and issues that affect the area where the public hearing is being conducted.

In Natchez, the public hearing will be 9 a.m. Thursday on board the motor vessel Mississippi at the landing at Natchez Under-the-Hill.

Public interests are invited to make presentations or otherwise bring comments to the hearing, and Brown said he plans to make a request.

“We will be making a request for some revetment work to be done at Natchez Under-the-Hill just to keep our banks in place,” he said. “We have had some settlement in the area where they fixed it many years ago and filled dirt on top of it, so we will be asking them to do a little repair work.”

The Corps was able to replace 11 of the 22 acres Under-the-Hill that washed away following the slight rerouting of the river that occurred after the Giles cut was made, and Brown said his request will be that the Corps help keep what remains.

“Without their work and commitment, we wouldn’t have a need for Roth Hill,” he said. “We will simply be asking them to help us keep what we have got.”

After the public hearing in Natchez, the commission will move downriver to the Ingram Capitol Fleet in Port Allen, La.

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