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Town Cleanup Will Coincide With Sesquicentennial

The First Impressions Report done by a group put together by Mississippi State University pointed out that properties in the downtown commercial district are in need of repair. They also commented on the backsides of some buildings calling them “a real eyestore” in their report. – Photos courtesy Mississippi State University Community Action Team

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – The city will participate in the Great American Cleanup – Mississippi as part of preparations for the town’s sesquicentennial, according to Mayor Bill Norris.

Water Valley will be 150 years old this year and a Founders Day celebration will be held April 19 in honor of the city’s creation in1858.

The cleanup, sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, is the nation’s largest community improvement program. Water Valley will be one of more than 17,000 communities in all 50 states taking part.

The mayor is urging civic organizations, churches, school groups and neighborhoods to become involved. Even individuals can participant when they walk by picking up litter along their route, the mayor said. Trash bags provided by the Glad Products Company will be available at no charge to participants.

Although the Great American Cleanup doesn’t officially begin until March 1 and run through May 31, city officials are urging Water Vallians to get an early start. Additionally, there are buildings around town that need fixing up, the mayor said.  

A one-day assessment of the city done by a group under the direction of the Mississippi Development Authority stated, “There are some vacancies in the downtown commercial district and some properties are in desperate need of repair and maintenance.”

Last July, a First Impressions report compiled by a group from the Mississippi State University Community Action Team, also pointed out that some of Water Valley’s vacant downtown buildings need attention. “The backsides of the buildings were very visible along a side street and are a real eyesore,” the report stated.

Mayor Norris emphasized that clean up is an on-going project. “Keeping the city clean is always important,” Mayor Bill Norris said, “And the 150th birthday celebration provides an opportunity for the community to come together and work toward a common goal.”

Research has shown that a clean community has less crime, enhanced economic development, more tourism and a better quality of life for the community, Mayor Norris added.

A household hazards pick-up day is planned for early spring, the mayor continued. This will allow citizens to get rid of materials that aren’t allowed in regular household garbage such as paint cans, batteries, chemicals, construction materials, etc.

Contact city hall at 473-2431 for more information.

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