Compromise should teach lessons

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2006

It&8217;s a compromise that had to happen.

After months of controversy over the old pecan factory, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History decided last week that the site is a landmark &8212; but the city can tear it down.

The pecan factory stands in the way of a new condo complex on the bluff, but it has also divided Natchez.

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The city can now apply through MDAH&8217;s permit committee to tear down the old Natchez Pecan Shelling Co.

But the mayor and board of aldermen should also take the opportunity to build back their relationship with Archives and History, with appointed boards and with the community.

From the beginning, city officials were belligerent about the role of the state board &8212; the same board that has been a great friend to Natchez over the years as our community has sought funding and support for a variety of valuable preservation projects. City officials were also dismissive of opinions from the boards it appoints to oversee such projects.

But the city now has an opportunity to mend fences. Doing so will help foster more goodwill about the condo project, which is a step in the right direction toward development of downtown.

The city may have gotten what it wanted with the pecan factory decision, but that doesn&8217;t mean the mayor and board don&8217;t have lessons to learn from this situation.