Water, sewage operators make up convention

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 14, 2009

NATCHEZ — A consortium of water and sewer operators just left Natchez, after a near week-long convention.

The Mississippi Water and Pollution Control Operators Association continuously has licensing and training conventions.

And from Monday to Friday, 225 operators were in town.

Email newsletter signup

Since 2005, the association has been to Natchez five times, president-elect of the association Ken Herring said.

He said after Katrina shut down several of the association’s Gulf Coast sites, new sites had to be identified as places to have the conventions.

And Natchez became one of them.

After the first visit, Herring said Natchez was a good fit.

“The Natchez site was very pleasant, the price was very good, and we had a real good response,” he said.

The addition of the Country Inn and Suites across the street, Herring said, completed the package.

Having restaurants, stores and lodging within walking distance were a bonus, he said.

“All of them say they feel very safe. We used to have this course in another city, and you didn’t always feel safe. Here, they’re able to relax a bit,” Herring said.

Linda Golloday, association administrator, said the convention brought operators in from across the state — even two people from Arkansas.

Natchez Convention Center Director Walter Tipton said of all the days spent in Natchez, the association had only one planned meal.

“I’m sure they’ve been out in all the restaurants,” he said.

Tipton said he hopes the group commits to coming back to Natchez for next year’s convention, as its a boost to the economy.