City, county need to inch together

Published 11:05 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2008

When does one inch equal a mile? When you’re discussing the mind-numbing topic of Natchez-Adams County recreation efforts.

The tiniest border — a mere imaginary line drawn on a map — separates the City of Natchez from the unincorporated areas of Adams County.

Despite that hair of a difference, a mile-wide chasm separates the areas on the subject of recreation.

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Natchez Mayor Jake Middleton, who ran on a platform promoting recreational development, has run into the reality that the city cannot afford to bear the cost of a facility alone.

Nor should it.

The city and county should work together — along with the school district — to come up with a plan for both the construction and the ongoing maintenance of an improved recreation facility.

This week the Adams County Board of Supervisors ignored Middleton’s request to raise county property tax to begin paying for a recreation complex.

Supervisors don’t like Middleton’s plan to put the facility at the former Belwood Country Club site. And neither do we.

It’s silly to start throwing money at the issue until we know what we’re doing, but the fear is that the disagreement may stop the conversation and that’s the last thing we need right now.

Where some see a petty political argument, we see the potential for progress.

The first step, the first inch, in the process is to know where each other stand. We’re past that point now.

The next step requires not just throwing up your hands in disgust, but hunkering down and talking.

We just cannot let the mile intimidate us. We just need to keep inching forward, together.