Bristow: Park could attract young adults

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

They were two topics that seemingly had nothing to do with each other.

One was actually a series of stories published earlier this week on the lack of young adults in the Miss-Lou and ways to address the trend.

Another is today&8217;s story, the second in a series on projects Mayor Phillip West would like to see the city bring to fruition during his term.

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In that story, Dr. Clinton Bristow, president of Alcorn State University, talks about partnerships the university has planned with the City of Natchez.

One of those projects is a high-technology park anchored by a digital imaging center, the location of which should be announced in the next two weeks.

But at the end of an interview Thursday, Bristow pointed out that those two stories, in fact, have much to do with each other.

Young adults interviewed in recent days have said one reason many aren&8217;t moving back to Natchez is the lack of jobs in this area.

Therefore any project, such as an industrial park, that would bring new businesses into the area would certainly address that trend.

But that&8217;s especially true with a high-technology park, Bristow pointed out.

&8220;These are the kinds of industries young adults want to be involved in, ones that involve technology,&8221; he said. &8220;When you bring something like this in, it helps to diversify your economy, which helps bring in young people.&8221;

Good point, especially with regard to a generation that has practically been raised with computer mice (mouses?) in their hands.

Such a park is also valuable because it brings new people with high-tech training &8212; &8220;human capital,&8221; as Bristow put it &8212; into our community.

As he also noted, the types of scientists that work in such a park often bring research grants with them &8212; and research grants mean more research assistants, often in the younger age range.

&8220;The key point,&8221; he said, &8220;is to retain human capital.&8221;

That benefits our economy and our community as a whole.

Don&8217;t panic

Although an advertisement in today&8217;s Democrat is headed &8220;Notice of Tax Increase&8221; for the City of Natchez, the city isn&8217;t raising taxes.

According to City Clerk Donnie Holloway, that is simply the language the State of Mississippi requires municipalities to use in their notices of public hearings.

By the way, the city&8217;s hearing on its 2004-2005 budget is now set for 5 p.m. Tuesday due to conflicts with the original Thursday date.

The Barash study

Speaking of date changes, although consultant Stu Barash was expected to release his tourism study a few days earlier, it will now be unveiled to the public at a Sept. 15 meeting of the Chamber of Commerce&8217;s Tourism Council.

Barash will then present the plan to the mayor and Board of Aldermen during the board&8217;s Sept. 28 meeting. Mayor Phillip West has said he&8217;s open to working with Barash and hearing his suggestions.

Nita McCann

is city editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 445-3554 or at