City taking steps in the right direction

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

It’s exciting to hear of the various projects Natchez Mayor Phillip West wants to implement. From a more fully developed plan for the riverfront to new marketing for tourism to beautification, the new mayor has his hands full.

But, as is the problem with so many projects these days, funding is limited.

It makes sense, then, that the city would need to re-establish the position of community development coordinator. Formerly held by James Johnston, that position functions as a grant writer and project coordinator.

Email newsletter signup

Yes, we would have to spend money for the position. But an effective grant writer would essentially pay for himself or herself if successful at landing the money for the various projects we need. We hope the city will find the right person for this position &045;&045; and make sure we get what we pay for. We also need to make sure we have all our funding ducks in a row before launching into new projects.

And as the mayor and aldermen look to accomplish the long list of goals ahead, we encourage them to look for creative ways to finance them.

One of the most important concerns for West, he said, is beautification. But he admits again that funds are limited. The city will not be able to hire a new permanent public works director for a few more months.

In the meantime, though, we cannot let ideas for beautification fall by the wayside.

We encourage the city to look at other communities our size that have been successful at juggling the need for cleaner streets and sidewalks and better-looking buildings with limited funds.

We’re glad to see that a review of existing ordinances is on the way. That will help the city determine what new tools are needed to help clean up abandoned buildings &045;&045; and what existing ordinances need better enforcement.

We’re taking steps in the right direction. We just can’t let lose the momentum.