Street may be renamed to honor Sgt. Henry Brown

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 9, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Efforts could be in the works to provide a lasting memorial for the first Natchez serviceman to die in combat in more than three decades.

At Tuesday’s Natchez Board of Aldermen meeting, aldermen discussed renaming a city street after Sgt. Henry Brown, who was killed in action earlier this month in Baghdad, Iraq.

&uot;It’s the least we could do for a young man who gave his life so we could be free,&uot; said Alderman Ricky Gray.

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Alderman David Massey said he and Alderman Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West discussed before the meeting the possibility of naming Northview Drive &045; where Rhonda James-Brown, Brown’s mother, lives &045; after the young soldier.

The last time Natchez named a street for a soldier was when it named Col. John Pitchford Parkway, Massey said.

City officials said they will meet soon to discuss that possibility further.

Later in the meeting, City Attorney Walter Brown told the board he feels confident that the Natchez-Adams School Board will decide to meet later this week or early next week to vote on a proposed recreation agreement.

Under the agreement, the city, county and school board would jointly fund, operate and maintain a countywide recreation program.

If the school board can approve the agreement now, the document could be approved by the Attorney General’s Office and presented to the aldermen as early as the first meeting in May, Brown said.

&uot;It’ll be a little close, but we can make it,&uot; Brown said.

And aldermen voted to ask the Mississippi Development Authority to advance funds, under the city’s deed of trust, from its HOME grant funds to cover taxes on the old Brumfield School, which now serves as apartments.

The exact amount of taxes owed was not available Tuesday night. But if back taxes are not paid this year, the property goes on the selling block.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting:

4Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith reported to the aldermen that &uot;there has been a great deal of interest&uot; in the purchase of the International Paper Natchez mill facility.

&uot;There are no named companies at this time,&uot; Smith said. &uot;That’s about the only thing I can say publicly. But I can say that what we thought was a long shot, appears to be less so now.&uot;

4The board voted to allow Civil Defense Director George Souderes, as the homeland security director for both the city and the county, to administer $29,000 in homeland security funds received by the city.

4Aldermen David Massey asked that local residents write to City Planner Robert Jackson, letting him know their ideas for an alternative parade route.

Downtown business owners have expressed concerns about parades on Franklin and Main streets during business hours, Massey pointed out.