City smart to invest in outside advice

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2000

Land is a valuable resource, and riverfront land in Natchez is even more precious. That’s why we’re glad to see city leaders investing in some outside advice on how best to develop the newly reclaimed land at Water Street.

Consultants Christopher Chadbourne and Vernon George, both with Chadbourne and Associates, were in town this week gathering research for the study commissioned by Natchez aldermen.

The purpose of the study is to recommend the best usages — and offer warnings of what to avoid — for land at the riverfront.

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Ideas for developing that land and the Under-the-Hill area are as varied as the individuals who offer them: family-oriented activities; a greenspace and park; more shopping and commercial venues; another casino operations; something that addresses the African-American, or heritage tourism, angles; and on and on.

Chadbourne and George are patiently listening to those ideas and will be charged with disseminating the information, studying the resources available, the market conditions and the unique concerns of Natchez’s history, to make recommendations.

And we, along with others, are anxious to hear what the consultants have to say.

Developing the riverfront area is critically important to our community’s future … and we’ve only got one shot to do it right.

If done well, we could tremendously improve our quality of life here in Natchez, as well as create a draw for more tourists and visitors.

If not done well … well, we all know what can happen.

We encourage the mayor and aldermen to heed well the experts’ advice as we go through this process.