January 4, 2012 11:02:00 AM
Christina Berry became the permanent Columbus city planner only months ago, but she is pushing the city to fix issues she has identified.
Berry plans to hold a mayor-council workshop later this month to discuss ways to improve the city's planning issues, she announced to the council at Tuesday's meeting.
Columbus is on the brink of becoming "one of the best places in Mississippi to live," Berry said, but needs to fix certain issues. Those issues include population loss, blighted neighborhoods and poor infrastructure.
"If you compare Columbus to other places, you see what the problems are. Other places are growing in population. The neighborhoods aren't blighted," she said.
Berry praised Columbus' culture and downtown but classified some inner-city neighborhoods as needing improvement.
"All over (the city), property values are actually going down," she said.
The workshop is scheduled for Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. at the Trotter Convention Center. The public can attend the workshop, but Berry said "the focus is for the mayor and council."
Berry's goal for the workshop is to begin prioritizing some projects that she has planned.
"One of the things is adopting a capital improvement plan that identifies all major problems in the city, along with the cost to fix those problems and the funding to fix them whether from a grant or other source," Berry said.
In other matters, the council:
1. Public wants inclusion in Starkville's comprehensive planning process STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
2. Judge: Closed council gatherings in Columbus broke Open Meetings Act COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Man sentenced to 5 years after Lowndes Co. DUI COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. MSU fans travel in large numbers to SEC tourney STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY