Federal courthouse will be a ‘win-win’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 26, 2001

Natchez aldermen took an important step on Tuesday when they approved an urban renewal plan to help facilitate the creation of a federal courthouse here.

By unanimously approving the plan, city leaders agreed to invest up to $500,000 in bonds for the effort to turn Memorial Hall on Pearl Street into a federal courthouse. The money will be used to purchase the property and prepare the site for development. Ultimately, the courthouse project is expected to cost about $4 million, with $500,000 coming from bonds to be issued by the Adams County Board of Supervisors. The federal government, through the U.S. Marshals department and the General Services Administration, will contribute $2.7 million to the project. The remaining $300,000 could come from a state bond program.

The funding has not been – and will not be – easily secured, but as Tuesday’s vote proves, it can be secured. And it should be.

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The project is truly a &uot;win-win&uot; for our community. First, by renovating the now-unused Memorial Hall, we revitalize and return to use an important historic building in downtown Natchez. Second, a federal courthouse will bring both jobs and opportunities to Natchez – from support staff for the court to the lawyers and support staff who travel to Natchez for their cases each year.

The opportunity to house a federal courthouse is one that our city and county leaders are wise to capitalize upon quickly. We’re convinced the project can only benefit our town and its future, and we’re glad to see officials who share that vision and are willing to invest in the future.