City hits homer with courthouse plan

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 18, 1999

Apparently the City of Natchez is poised to hit another two-run municipal homer with the proposed creation of a federal courthouse downtown.

Actually, the proposed courthouse, when completed, will score the city more than just two runs — the courthouse will bring a number of good things to our city.

At the very minimum, creation of a new courthouse means jobs — from workers who will be needed to prepare the building to staff members who will operate the courthouse.

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And while it may seem strange to say it, the courthouse will likely bring economic development to our area. From the high-paying jobs inside the courthouse to the attorneys and their clients who will be staying in our hotels and eating in our restaurants, Natchez stands to reap the benefits.

As if that weren’t enough, the city, under the leadership of the always opportunistic Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown, has figured out a perfect way to reuse an existing, vacant downtown building — Memorial Hall.

The building has a nearly 150-year history that is as varied as you’ll find in Natchez. Memorial Hall was once a school auditorium, opera house, library and even a skating rink.

Although nothing is finalized except the congressional approval to allow for Federal Judge David Bramlette to request funds to operate a courthouse in Natchez, we think that with the city’s strong leadership, the project has a great chance of becoming a reality.

And we think it’s a wonderful idea that blends the best of both worlds. The plans consist of the rare blend of new development using historic properties that helps keep Natchez special and unique.