Removing properties is smart move for city

Published 12:09am Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cities serve many important functions ranging from protector of public safety to evacuator of storm water and sewage and a million other things in between.

But among the long list of things citizens seek from a city, rarely will you find the title, “largest property owner in the town.”

Although we’re not positive that moniker fits, with more than 200 parcels of property on the City of Natchez’s balance sheet, clearly something is out of whack.

Critics of the City point to the large list and suggest that all of the properties are “gold mines” worthy of top dollar.

In truth, nearly the opposite is true. With a few exceptions, a city gains ownership of a property after either the property has been abandoned, become derelict or the property had to be acquired for some reason — which may or may not still be applicable.

Rarely does a city or its leadership set out to make property acquisitions, the ownership just sort of happens.

The City of Natchez has been working to remove some of the unused properties from their property inventory.

Doing so, theoretically, will put the property back on the tax rolls and rids the City of ongoing maintenance required at many of the properties.

We applaud the City on its effort to let the private sector take over the properties, thus freeing up City resources to handle bigger, more important matters.