By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – Once again Hollywood is coming to town. Well, maybe not Hollywood, but the city will be featured in a film by the Mississippi State Extension Service on downtown economics.
Water Valley Main Street Director Mickey Howley told the mayor and aldermen at the first-Tuesday meeting Apr. 7 that a team from MSU would be filming here Thursday, Aug. 23. “We were one of the first in the state they picked,” he said. “I was told we’re the guinea pigs, but for a good reason.”
Howley continued his monthly report by telling city officials that the Water Valley Arts Council was wrapping up details on a historic marker for the home of author Hubert Creekmore on Panola Street.
Finally, Howley reported on his trip to the National Main Street Association Convention in Atlanta. He noted that the city was featured three times during the gathering as a model for downtown revitalization.
One of the points made at the meeting, according to Howley, was that too many small towns are still focusing on bringing in big industry when – dollar-for-dollar – job creation is way cheaper to find something local and make it better.
Patrice Frey, director and CEO of the National Main Street Center, gave an address at the opening session of the convention, said Howley, that singled out Water Valley as a back to basics town. She said that too many cities were focusing on promotions such as big festivals instead of putting emphasis on buildings, businesses and jobs. Frey had visited Water Valley last September and was impressed with what was being done here.
Among other actions Apr. 7, aldermen:
• Approved recommendations from the Housing Authority Board to appoint Barron Caulfield to a five year term on the board and Ora Polk to complete the term of Daliah McLeod, who resigned.
Alderman Fred White opposed the appointment of Polk, stating that he had someone he wanted to see complete McCloud’s term. He voted against approving the recommendations.
• Approved the quarterly write-offs from the city’s electric department.
Mayor Larry Hart said the amount, $4,905.73, was down somewhat from the last quarter’s write-offs. “Keep in mind we still try to collect these, we just take them off the active roll,” he added.
Alderman Larry Bell questioned if any of the accounts were collected and the mayor said that they are. “They do a pretty good job with that,” Hart said.
• Authorized the purchase of a zero-turn mower from Big Delta Honda for the parks and cemeteries department.
The two quotes were $8,435 plus the old mower from NAPA and $8, 674 minus $1,600 credit for the old mower from Big Delta Honda for a total of $7,074.
• Heard the mayor read a letter from the chamber of commerce inviting city officials to the annual chamber banquet this Thursday evening beginning at 6 p.m.