Our View: A plan is a good place to start

 

 

 

Success often means looking beyond present circumstances.

 

Even now, as communities all over brace for what could be a devastating second wave of COVID-19 and the fallout it would represent, there is value in looking ahead to a time when the pandemic no longer dominates our thoughts.

 

For the past month, the Starkville Board of Aldermen have used work sessions to consider post-pandemic possibilities for the city.

 

 

At the urging of Rep. Rob Roberson, the mayor and aldermen have established a list of priorities for money from the state legislature's bond program.

 

While it is difficult to project how much -- if any -- bond money will be made available to communities during the 2021 legislative session which begins in January, having a list of projects available for their local legislators to pre-file in December is a first important step in the process.

 

Over the past month, aldermen have considered a long list of possibilities, including relocating the county jail, building a parking garage downtown, improving the city's drainage system and relocating a fire station.

 

On Tuesday, the list was narrowed down to three projects: The board's top priority will be the potential relocation of the Starkville-Oktibbeha County Public Library from its 60-year-old building on University Drive to the stretch of Highway 182 that will be revamped in the next few years with federal grant money. The board also will look into the options of bringing a YMCA to Starkville and extending Stark and Hospital roads to connect them to state highways on the west side of the city.

 

The preferred projects provide insight into the board's vision for the city.

 

We cannot help but draw a parallel between the emphasis put on Highway 182 development and Sunday's passing of Dan Camp.

 

Camp's abiding legacy was the vision he had for turning a blighted part of the city into a vibrant, successful asset now known as The Cotton District.

 

Likewise, we believe the city's long-neglected 182 corridor is rich with unfulfilled potential.

 

The aldermen's priorities aside, the one thing that everyone should be able to agree on is that planning for the future is a wise move, something all of our cities should also pursue. While all area cities aren't growing at Starkville's rate, a community's health needs constant attention, and a plan is a good place to start.

 

Let's look ahead.

 

The future, like objects in a car's rear view mirror, is closer than it appears.

 

 

 

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