Downtown Cleanup spruces up city

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2001

Armed with trash bags and garden tools, downtown merchants and tourism officials took to the streets Tuesday for the second annual Downtown Cleanup.

Tammi Mullins, Natchez Downtown Development Authority director, said she realized the need for a cleanup last year after many of the buildings looked neglected after a long winter.

&uot;It’s like somebody cares,&uot; Mullins said of the cleanup. &uot;Being a tourist town, it just seems to make a difference.&uot;

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Anne Stowers, Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce CEO and president and member of the NDDA board of directors, doesn’t own a downtown business. But she didn’t need that as an excuse to get her knees dirty while pulling weeds on Commerce Street.

&uot;Tourism affects everybody and we want to be pretty,&uot; Stowers said.

Mullins said several local businesses contributed to the cleanup, including Fred’s Greenhouse in Natchez, Uptown’s Nursery in Kingston, Anderson’s Garden Center in Vidalia, La. and the Natchez locations of Stein’s and Wal-Mart.

Last fall, the Isle of Capri casino donated a golf cart to NDDA equipped with a water tank to maintain the plants and flowers throughout the year.

Donations from Entergy, the Great Mississippi Balloon Race and the Natchez Bicycle Classic will help purchase about 15 heavy steel trash cans for downtown, which should be in place in June.

The golf cart and the trash cans will go far to keep the downtown looking good year-round, not just for Spring Pilgrimage, Mullins said.

Jeannie Breland at Sun, Moon and Stars gift shop on Main Street said an attractive and clean sidewalk are just as important as how the inside of a store looks, maybe even more so because it draws customers in.

&uot;You would be surprised the people who have walked by and said something about how nice it looks and what attracted them to come in the store,&uot; she said.

But it’s more than just luring customers, said Netterville Jewelry owner Virginia Netterville Conn.

&uot;I think tourists enjoy coming to a town and see store owners who care about what they’re doing,&uot; she said.