Talk with governor good move for city

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Natchez Mayor Phillip West went to bat for $10 million in bond money this week, and we hope the governor is listening.

West explained to Gov. Haley Barbour that the $10 million Natchez seeks would be used for a variety of projects to improve the community, including revitalization of downtown and historic districts; developing low-income housing; and improving infrastructure.

The bill that would have supplied that money died in conference committee this week, but rumor has it Barbour will be calling a special session after the regular session ends to address issues such as economic development legislation.

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If that’s the case, perhaps the bond money could be resuscitated.

The Natchez money was among many projects in a bond bill that would have provided funding for a variety of communities around the state.

It drew criticism from a lawmaker who wondered why, for example, our community should be singled out for funding in a year when the state is tight on money.

But West and city officials have a good plan for leveraging the $10 million with federal money and public investments and partnering with Alcorn State University on many projects.

We’re glad West took our cause to the governor; that not only can boost support, it’s also a good public relations move.

The city needs to continue to let state and federal leaders &045; and the public &045; know what the plans are. We need all the support we can get, in Jackson, in Washington and here at home.