Infrastructure should be top on priority listPublished 12:07am Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Public infrastructure investment is about as popular as going to the doctor when you feel perfectly fine.
Logically, most of us know a preventative check-up is a good idea.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of us wait until something begins hurting or simply stops functioning before we get checked out.
The same is true about infrastructure needs, too. That’s particularly noticeable in a city as old as Natchez and with an infrastructure that can date back more than 100 years.
The City of Natchez is more than a dozen years into a project to replace a significant portion of the drainage infrastructure on the north side of the city. The project was massively needed.
Unfortunately, more such infrastructure projects are needed, but Natchez lacks the available cash to invest in the infrastructure without making changes in its financial picture.
Infrastructure is important, but not popular.
Just ask a few of the residents along Buckner Avenue — where the problems with the north Natchez drainage was first noticeable. For decades, they waded through water when the heavy rains came.
In south Natchez, a similar drainage issue occasionally causes raw sewage to spew onto a public roadway.
Drainage, roadways and utilities are not as sexy or as interesting as other, new construction projects, but they’re often much more important to the health of the city in the long run.
We hope the city will continue to discuss and look ahead to the preventative infrastructure needs of tomorrow so that, perhaps, they can be diagnosed and cured before they fester.
That means finding and dedicating money to infrastructure, too, not simply hoping someone helps out with a grant to cover the emergency room costs.