Monday, February 19, 2007

The County shows the City how AGAIN

The prospect of a Federal prison in Adams County sounds like a good idea. A multi million dollar construction project and hundreds of permanent jobs sounds like a very good thing.

The prison "business" (and it really is a growing business) has become one of the major employers in this part of the country. We've seen them built in Fayette, Woodville, and Concordia Parish and I know people who work not only in these facilities but some who travel to Angola and Jackson (LA.) to their jobs.

The County has insured that the public will have ample opportunities to get information and give feedback. This time the "people" won't be kept in the dark and presented a fait accompli (as has happened so often with the City) before the decision is made. They even remembered to remind us that if a (statutory) percentage of the voters petition it an election will be held to approve or disapprove. I wonder if they and the City will remember that the next time a Bond Issue is proposed.

Good show.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing up the prison issue.

I don't know how many heard the piece by David Phelps on MissLou Matters last Friday, but in terms of importance to our city, the prison issue may dwarf the dust-up over the pecan factory. What I am speaking of is the shadow that being a "prison town" might cast over Natchez and its future development opportunities. After listening to the people he interviewed from Hattiesburg and other places, I'm not so sure the few jobs that will accrue are worth the price. What will it do to Natchez' attractiveness as a tourist destination? As a place to retire?

We make all these claims to be a cultural center. If we are going to attract wealth and capital to our city is this the best way to do it? Are our options really this reduced? Or are we better off leaving this "industry" to places like Fayette and Woodville.

Anonymous said...

Well, the saddest part of the prison idea is the potential location:


Too bad we can't turn the airport into an airport and put the prison somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Ha Anon...sadder still is that the only economic development opportunities we have in Natchez-Adams is for prisons and casinos.

We obviously have the wrong leaders in place.

I hope we voters can get serioius with the upcoming elections.

Anonymous said...

Natchez a "prison town"?
Both locations are pretty far out of town. One way in the sticks.

Anonymous said...

I understand with the plant closures and the downturn in the
Natchez economy why citizens are frustrated and want to see action
being taken to resolve these problems.
I also see that this is causing our leaders to make poor choices and bad decisions in hopes of stimulating the economy and making a name for themselves.
Tourism should be the #1 focus. I
don't think enough money is spent marketing Natchez. Does anyone have any accurate numbers as to how much money is actually spent on marketing? I agree with the comment that the airport needs to actually become an airport. I would love to see a culinary institute opened up and Natchez become well known for their chefs and restaurants like New Orleans and Charleston. Baby boomers are retiring and spending big money traveling and food is a huge draw.
This could bring in more tourists from the surrounding areas, Monroe, Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Jackson as well as out of state.
Casinos, prisons, coal processing
plant isn't the way to go in my opinion and doesn't add to the Natchez image of southern elegance and graciousness. The city itself
is the jewel and I'm afraid our leaders are tarnishing our image.
I hope we can elect leaders in 2008 who treasure Natchez and her history and market it effectively.

Anonymous said...

the prison is a great investment for natchez. The "few" jobs that someone spoke of will employ a "few" citizens, Put a "few" groceries on someones table, and pay a "few bills. Because when those "few" tourists and "few" retirees die, whats gonna happen to the "host" of citizens that depend upon the economy to survive?
Oh I forgot you are already setting pretty and blogging the hell out of your spare time.

John Saleeby said...

"Well, the saddest part of the prison idea is the potential location:


Too bad we can't turn the airport into an airport and put the prison somewhere else."

1. The "somewhere else" is the Hwy 84 loc.
2. The ADAMS COUNTY (the city gave up its portion of control in 1998 as part of the deal to get complete control of the CVB)Airport is one of the BEST managed, VERY WELL maintained, and up todate unused airports in America. It occupies a great deal of land which could be utilized for airport related things but .........

The Airport is really worth another posting/another time

Anonymous said...

Santa Fe, The City Different is a world-renowned, multicultural destination unparalleled in richness of history, heritage, arts and culture. It has been chosen by readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine as the country's Number Two tourist destination. It has boutiques, galleries and stores showcasing innovative art, jewelry, fashion, furniture and more. Santa Fe, is the only city in the U.S. to be designated as a UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific Cultural Organization) Creative City. Oh, by the way, there are two fairly substantial prisons located just 10 miles south of the city. The Penitentiary of New Mexico, a public institution built in 1985 houses nearly 800 prisoners. The Santa Fe County Detention Facility, built in 1998 has a capacity to house nearly 700 prisoners. Natchez too has a wealth of history, heritage, arts and culture. Why would anyone expect the impact in Natchez to be any different than Santa Fe - NONE, other than jobs.

natchezcrabbe said...

I wish there was a way to tell one anon from the other. Think up a name and use it no one will know who you are, but it gives some more credence to your posts.
There has to be a prison somewhere and it's better than a casino because it brings money in and not out of the area

natchezblues said...

How many jobs will the prison bring and is that the only benefit to Natchez. What about tax revenues? I'd have to see more revenue than jobs to see it as a plus, but not totally against it, just need more info.

Anonymous said...

Sante Fe has Casinos as well.

Anonymous said...

WRONG! There are no casinos in Sante Fe. There are two about 15 miles outside of Sante Fe, one of which is on an Indian Reservation.

Few people would object to casinos 15 miles out of Natchez - we just don't want them downtown.

NatchezWorker said...

I was at todays BOS meeting and enjoyed hearing both CCA and Geo speak concerning a prison being located here.

There were some very intelligent comments and questions from those that were present and both agencies were very open and receptive to the concerns and comments that were stated.

CCA said the WERE going to invest 90 million dollars in a facility before theyhad the Federal contract in either in Adams, Pike or Walthall county. GEO stated it is committed to Adams County and will build only after being awarded a contract.

I guess the main purpose of my post is to be sure Adams County residents understand that it's the LOCATION that must be approved before the actual contract is awarded.

GEO is looking at a location near the Adams County airport and CCA is looking at a location at Hobo Forks & Hwy 84. (North Side of 84)

A footnote: A lot of the concerns were about the "visibility" and how that would affect visitors to our area. Both companies were very receptive on having local input on how to make their facilities (for lack of a better term) invisible.

NatchezWorker said...

I forgot to add that the BOS should be commended for inviting the public to be involved. They have NOT forgot they represent us.

Anonymous said...

Well, the hwy 84 site is right before the County line - suppose the OTHER County got the prison and put it right before our County line?

Then we'd have the same visual problem without the benefits.

Seems like "much ado about - not much" (paraphrase