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October 2009 Archives

October 9, 2009

Getting Things Going in Hickory

I had the pleasure of meeting several volunteer Chamber of Commerce board members Monday evening at the First Impressions presentation in Hickory. The community is fairly compact with several tradional downtown buildings and a nice greenspace. A real challenge--as is the case in many small, rural towns across America--is to aggressively look for ways to revitalize their downtown area.

A destination furniture store is located downtown in several buildings. Folks from all over the state and from other states frequent the store to shop. Highway 80 used to be the major east-west corridor prior to Interstate 20. Highway 503 connects Hickory with Decatur just up the road.

I applaud the grassroots volunteer efforts underway to make things happen in town. A grant received a few years ago enabled a walking track/park to be built adjacent to the old school that closed a couple of decades ago. Unfortunately, the school grounds have fallen into disrepair for the most part. I hope the community's leadership and residents can band together and figure out a creative use for this property.

Hickory's future will be a brighter one if the elected officials and the residents work together towards a single vision and attainable goals for the town and work tirelessly to engage folks in the process.


October 12, 2009

Decatur's Downtown Is Coming Along

The First Impressions team that visited Decatur recently was pleasantly surprised at the activity going on downtown in this small community in Newton County. Several business owners are working hard to provide attractive storefronts with container plants and fresh coats of paint. Buildings renovated recently also provide living quarters downtown that are very convenient to East Central Community College.

ECCC is certainly a tremendous asset to the community as is the Turkey Creek Water Park located only minutes away. The schools are also real assets, as they are fairly new buildings that are attractively landscaped. As is is the case in many rural Mississippi towns, the limited tax base provides challenges to local government leaders.

At the presentation last week, a group of approx. 30 community leaders and volunteers were anxious to keep working towards improving their town. I applaud their dedicated service and vision to engage others as they keep moving forward. I would encourage Decatur to continue with beautification efforts downtown and along the major corridors, continue working on renovating downtown businesses, and explore land use planning as it look towards the future.

About October 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Dawg Tracks in October 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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