Power line plan needed for Natchez

Published 12:03 am Sunday, January 17, 2010

Natchez has some of the South’s most beautiful homes of a bygone era.

If you look carefully, especially during the annual Spring Pilgrimage, a passerby can almost feel transported back to the 1850s.

See the huge columns, the wide front porches, the expansive gardens and the hideous green poles and electrical power lines crisscrossing overhead.

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For decades, local owners have sunk literally millions and millions of dollars into local properties, preserving the history that exists and restoring the portions that cannot be saved, all in an effort to keep Natchez’s charm and history alive.

But it’s frustrating to look around and see just how distracting overhead power lines are.

For many of us, we’ve become so used to them, so accustomed to their inevitable existence that we sort of block them out.

But stop one day when you’re downtown and gaze at the beauty of the Natchez Garden Club’s House on Ellicott Hill. It doesn’t take long to realize how distracting the draping black utility lines are passing directly in front.

Ditto for the metal power poles running down Homochitto Street.

At one time the local electrical provider had agreed to work on a plan to bury many of those lines. That never happened. Now they say it’s too expensive.

But what’s the value of updating antiquated lines and systems and putting them more safely underground, out of the way of falling trees and blowing tropical winds that fairly regularly plunge the area into darkness.

We urge the city to bring the power company to the table to develop a plan that will begin to modernize our lines and relocate them underground in key areas of the city.