River to be focus of meeting

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 20, 2010

VIDALIA — A group of government appointees will meet in Vidalia today with the goal of developing a strategic plan to promote and enhance the resources of the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi River Parkway Commission’s Louisiana state board meeting will be at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center today, Riverfront Administrator H.L. Irvin said.

The MRPC is a multi-state organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the river’s historic, recreational and scenic resources as a way to promote economic growth along the Mississippi River corridor.

The governor appointed Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland and Irvin to the Louisiana commission, Copeland said.

The meeting will help foster relationships between the players along the river, and each parish represented on the commission has two commissioners, he said.

“We are going to be looking at various projects encompassing the Mississippi River, looking at some of the projects going up and down the Mississippi River and what future projects there may be,” Copeland said.

“I think this will be a very important, cooperative meeting.”

The meeting will be hosted in Vidalia because the Vidalia delegation asked the group to come, Irvin said.

“This is a biannual meeting, we had a meeting in Baton Rouge in September, and we invited them here,” he said.

“The advantage of having them meet here is that the MRPC is a commission that is dedicated to the scenic beauty of the Mississippi River, and this is one of the most scenic places on the river.”

The MRPC is composed of 10 state committees, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

The group will have its national convention in Wisconsin later this year, but Copeland said the Concordia Parish delegation will not be able to attend due to a conflict with the schedule of the U.S. 84-El Camino Corridor Group’s meeting.

For more information about the MRPC, visit www.mrpcmembers.com.