Recreation issue needs community teamwork

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 11, 2001

Our community is on the verge of doing something that could have long-term implications and could be a great thing for our area. It is the big game, if you will.

The City of Natchez, Adams County and the Natchez-Adams School District are joining forces to work on the planning of the St. Catherine Creek Recreational Complex.

The original concept was estimated to cost about $16 million and created a state-of-the-art facility near Natchez High School in what is commonly known as the &uot;beanfield.&uot;

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The plan is as ambitious as it is expense. But it could also make a huge impact in the lives of thousands of city and county residents.

Recreation is an extremely important part of a community’s quality of life.

And at one time, Natchez and Adams County had great facilities – at least by the standards at the time they were built.

But today recreation is hurting. It has been neglected too long, especially by our county government.

Despite the excellent work of the city’s recreation department, many of the facilities at Duncan Park and around other community parks are showing their age. The Duncan Park pool had to be closed because maintenance issues were too cost prohibitive to repair. And the community has lost one baseball field with the construction of the Natchez Trace Parkway extension to Liberty Road.

The need is there. A centrally located space for recreation is vital. But the final size, scope and look of the facility has yet to be determined. If recreation is important to you, your family or your children, contact your city and county representatives and discuss the matter.

Teamwork on this issue is mandatory. All parties – city, county, schools and taxpayers – must be on the same side of the fence.

When all of the planning is done, a tax increase to pay for a portion of the facility seems likely. We’ve got to be willing to pay for recreation. Are you ready to play ball?