FOR Natchez needs you for future

Published 1:33 am Wednesday, March 8, 2017

FOR Natchez, the non-profit group that has organized the start of a process to create a plan to revitalize two areas of downtown Natchez has gotten the ball rolling. Now, your turn is next.

The group, which raised $100,000 to organize the project, has really done the easy part. The more difficult and most rewarding part is yet to come and it will star you, if you’ll accept the responsibility.

The next steps in the six- to eight-month project will gather public input.

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“I like to say we are deputizing citizens to be city planners for the night,” former Natchez City Planner and project coordinator Phil Walker told a crowd Monday night.

His statement could not be more correct.

An outside firm such as Walker’s is certainly qualified to help coordinate and synthesize a plan. However, the details of such a plan will best come not from out-of-town experts, but from local men and women who invest their time to participate in one of the brainstorming meetings that will soon be announced.

For the plan that comes out of this process to truly be our plan, it must come from within our community. We applaud everyone to date who has come forward and volunteered his or her time and money to move the project along.

If we all start with a simple, common goal in mind — being “for Natchez” is a good place to start — we can only improve the quality of our community over time by working together.