City has good plan for trip to Washington

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2005

City officials will soon head to Washington, D.C., with a long wish list of projects that need federal assistance.

But judging from the extensive list they have prepared, Mayor Phillip West, aldermen and other leaders aren’t exactly going with hat in hand just to beg for money.

Instead, they have the workings of a detailed plan that capitalizes on partnerships with Alcorn State University, the Department of Archives and History and other entities to create better opportunities in economic development, housing and recreation.

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Among the projects proposed:

A center to help assess community needs and provide assistance to area agencies applying for grants.

A mentoring program between larger companies and smaller rural technology businesses.

A model neighborhood that would be used to improve the lives of families and youth.

And West says that’s just a start.

It is tremendously gratifying to see such a proactive approach to our needs in Natchez and in southwest Mississippi.

Most of us believe that in some way Natchez and the region have been left out of development in other areas of the state.

But can’t just whine about being left behind and lament the status quo.

We have to pull ourselves up and prove we have the ingenuity and the drive to pull off the projects for which we want federal funding. This plan shows we aren’t just looking for handouts; we’re looking for help with valuable programs that will improve our community.

If even one of these projects got funded, it would be a great opportunity for us. But we hope city officials will hold out for all of them.