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Houston approves long-range revitalization plan

By Floyd Ingram Chickasaw Journal

 

HOUSTON – They didn’t all agree on the details, but they all voted for direction of the plan.

The Houston Board of Aldermen unanimously voted last week to accept a long-range plan for revitalizing Houston and developing the community over the next decade.

The Houston Tourism Committee was presented a 70-page Vision Plan in February from the Mississippi Main Street Association.

 

Mississippi Main Street and the Chickasaw Development Foundation hosted three days of meetings in October with government officials and community leaders to develop a plan for tourism and economic growth. A meeting last fall drew more than 50 people to Houston Civic Center to view an initial report presented at that time.

The plan approved by aldermen last week lists in detail more than 70 ideas, project and a suggested three timeline for Houston that will involve City Aldermen, Tourism Committee and CDF. Plan authors said it will take longer than three years to accomplish all items on the list, but encouraged the community to get started.

Ward 1 Alderman Kellie Atkinson said she was not in favor of all ideas and stressed the city choose carefully which project were developed and how tourism tax dollars were spent.

“I’m not in favor of the entire plan,” said Atkinson. “I just want to know what it means if we adopt it.”

Mayor Stacey Parker said he was presenting it as a master plan and a starting point.

“Adoption of this plan says we want to move forward with it,” said Parker. “This community spent $25,000 in September to develop this plan, and it’s a good one.”

Alderman-at-large Barry Springer said the city was not bound by this vote to do anything.

“Our problem is doing anything,” said Springer. “It’s a start. We’re not bound by law to do any of these things.”

The thrust of the plan has CDF, the City of Houston and the Houston Tourism Committee – with the blessing of aldermen – developing different projects and portions of the plan.

Atkinson said she was not in favor of tourism tax dollars building roads, specifically the part of the plan that recommended the paving of Dulaney Street leading to Legion Lake.

“This is a guideline and a plan to go forward,” said Parker. “You are either for it or against it.”

 

On a motion by Springer and a second by Ward 3 Alderman Frank Thomas the board voted unanimously to accept the plan.

The Main Street plan is broken into five areas:

• Economic Vitality/Market Analysis.

• Design and Planning.

• Branding and Marketing

• Organization.

• “Road Map” or future plans.

 

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