Past time to fund director’s job

Published 12:01 am Sunday, January 20, 2019

Natchez has almost all of the pieces in place to begin significant progress on its downtown master plan with one exception — money.

The private sector stepped up and donated more than $100,000 to hire a firm to facilitate the local creation of the plan.

The city almost immediately adopted the plan, but progress on putting the plan into action has been slower than we’d like.

Part of that slowness is the naturally, lethargic pace of government.

But a bigger problem is a lack of money.

Despite lots of begging to other groups, the city still hasn’t found the funding to hire a full-time, downtown development director.

That means currently it’s no one’s job to wake up every morning and worry about how to improve downtown. That’s a problem because downtown is among the best calling cards the city has.

Downtown has long been a huge factor in the city’s economy, particularly the tourist economy.

It’s past time for the city to locate the funds necessary to hire the best downtown director we can afford and get serious about putting the plan into action.

This position is a critical piece of the puzzle that needs to be put into place soon before more opportunities to grow downtown are lost.