Revamping riverfront plan right on target

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 2, 2000

Regardless of your destination, you can’t get there without a plan. And fortunately, the City of Natchez has decided to revise its plan for development along the city’s riverfront.

Natchez aldermen have agreed to revise a 1992 study by Boston-based Chadbourne and Associates to account for recent changes in the look of the riverfront.

We think this is right on target.

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Natchez’s two biggest assets have always been our people and the Mississippi River, and we should never forget that.

We utilize our people each day in our successful tourism industry.

Revamping the riverfront plan will lay the groundwork for potential development opportunities near the river which are sorely needed.

Many residents may not be aware of this, but the city has reclaimed about 11 acres of land as part of an ongoing project that will ultimately open up some prime riverfront property below the famous Natchez bluffs.

New land that has been under the Mississippi River for decades – a victim of a project to straighten the river – is now a diamond in the rough for Natchez.

Potential investors have already been in contact with the city to begin the courting process.

But before any deals can be struck two things must happen. The city needs to know exactly what potential the site holds, which should be addressed in the revised plan. And the Legislature must agree to allow the city to enter into a long-term lease with potential investors.

With one of those in the works, our local legislators need to make sure they lobby their colleagues in Jackson to get the law changed.

The plan is the first step, but it’s crucial to knowing where the city’s riverfront is going.