City accepts its livability award

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2001

&uot;A lot of cities talk about what they’re going to do and don’t accomplish it, but … you made it happen.&uot;

And that is the reason Natchez was selected as the winner of the 18th annual Livability Award co-sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Waste Management, said conference Managing Director Tom McClimon.

McClimon, along with regional and local Waste Management officials, presented the trophy to Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith at Tuesday night’s Natchez Board of Aldermen meeting. The designation was originally announced in June at a Conference of Mayors convention in Detroit.

Email newsletter signup

The award honors cities that have identified problems and developed innovative programs to address them, McClimon said. &uot;Also, they ask, ‘Can this program be replicated?’ &uot; he said.

In Natchez’s case, city officials created the LUMPS, or Large Unused Municipal Properties, program. That program was created in the early 1990s to refurbish and utilize an abundance of vacant public buildings. &uot;This was not an award for me – this was an award for our whole town,&uot;&160;Smith said. &uot;This work was done over a long time by a lot of people. … We will continue to see these opportunities and take action on them.&uot;

Properties renovated as part of the LUMPS program include:

4Natchez’s council chambers.

4The Natchez Police Department and Municipal Court Building.

4The Oak Towers domestic abuse shelter.

4Brumfield Apartments.

4Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center and business incubator.

4Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture on Main Street.

4Main Street Marketplace.

The award is given annually to one small city (up to 100,000 residents) and one larger city – this year, Austin, Texas. Natchez competed against 120 cities in the small city category.

Past winners of the small cities award include Hattiesburg and Gadsden, Ala.

Waste Management officials on hand to help present the award were District Manager Buford Clark, District Manager Doug Wilson and local Site Manager Jim Funderburg.