North Natchez needs new ideas

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 22, 2009

In the City of Natchez, perhaps no greater political albatross exists than the North Natchez Drainage Project.

Discussed for more than a decade, to date little has been done beyond patching and essentially putting Band-Aids on what amounts to a broken arm for the City of Natchez.

More than a generation of city residents has lived in less than adequate circumstances because the city has struggled to fix the infrastructure problems that plague the area.

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Storm water floods neighborhoods, draining beneath houses, undermining both public roadways and private residences.

The city has been aware of the issues for years and years, but the problems remain.

The ultimate solution and the stumbling block to repair is money. The total cost of everything that needs to be done is an estimated $36 million.

That’s an amazingly high amount of money for any city, but especially for a city the size of Natchez.

The city has continued to seek sources for funding for years and years, but thus far has only nibbled at the much larger problem.

It’s embarrassing that residents of our city must live with such horrible infrastructure around them.

But the question of how the city will pay for such repairs remains unanswered.

It’s unlikely — barring a national stimulus check falling into the city’s lap — that the city will be in a position to fully fund the project anytime soon.

Perhaps city leaders need to look at the whole project and seek alternative solutions that can be accomplished more quickly than allowing the status quo continue to be an albatross that no one wants to feed.