Natchez to get $100,000 in funds

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Congress has voted to give the city $100,000 for long-range community planning, Mayor Phillip West confirmed Monday.

West said he received a notification letter Friday telling him the city will receive the money.

West has long talked about the need for a new comprehensive plan for the city&8217;s development. He said he was still researching as of Monday afternoon the limits of what the money could be used for.

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After he finds out, &8220;the next step is to send them our plan for using the money,&8221; West said. While the deadline for turning in that plan is in December, West said, &8220;we plan to send it in much sooner than that.&8221;

West said he plans to keep in touch frequently with the area&8217;s congressional delegation and federal agencies to follow up on other federal funds discussed in a trip he and other city officials took to Washington last month.

While they were in Washington for the National League of Cities&8217; annual conference, city officials lobbied representatives, senators and agencies for more than $5 million.

The city&8217;s wish list included:

4$4 million for infrastructure improvements in the Marblestone subdivision.

4$650,000 to help build a system of walking trails along the Mississippi River bluff and throughout downtown Natchez.

4$180,000 for a study to determine how much affordable housing Natchez needs and where such housing could best be located.

4$140,000 for a study to determine the feasibility of a recreation complex. A previous effort to erect such a complex stalled after a number of industrial closings in the area hit the local economy hard.

4$40,000 for technology upgrades for the police department &8212; specifically, for a computerized fingerprinting system.