Getting bean field a victory for all

Published 12:01 am Friday, July 17, 2015

Congratulations to all the members of “team bean field,” as Natchez Mayor Butch Brown referred to them recently, who were instrumental in acquiring for the city the bean field property.

The City of Natchez received ownership of the three parcels, which total approximately 88 acres, on Wednesday. For the longest, the property was leased as agriculture land on which soybeans and other crops were grown. Thus, the name bean field.

It’s been a long time coming, and took lots of finagling, including the cooperation of state and federal legislators. Once federal property, the parcels had to be transferred to state ownership before it then could be transferred to the city.

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Anyone who has tried to work within the political or bureaucratic system understands what a task it was to make this happen.

Now, developing the property remains. The 37-acre property located near Natchez High School has long been proposed for use as a city and Adams County recreation complex.

While some dissention remains about whether that complex should include a swimming pool, most agree our city and county are in need of a consolidated recreation complex.

Voters supported such overwhelmingly in November 2009 and the Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission was formed.

Now, with the acquisition of the bean field property, perhaps a plan for such a complex can become a reality.

Leadership and cooperation is needed now to begin that process.