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Grow Meridian suggestions well received by leaders

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
April 11, 2001
Political and business leaders welcomed suggestions for growth from the Grow Meridian Team at a Tuesday press conference.
The team presented a 13-point plan to promote new housing developments, improve education, create a better quality of life and improve economic development  all geared toward growing the city's population and tax base.
Bill Crawford, the team's chairman, told leaders only focused and committed action by the city could stop the population decline.
Some of the team's major points included directing the city's Community Development Department to revamp some existing building codes and ordinances to make them more clear and concise for developers. The team also suggested the city create a magnet school to specialize in certain fields where jobs are being created.
Mayor John Robert Smith, who appointed the team, said he was very pleased with its work and his administration will be making plans to address each issue brought forward.
Don Farrah, Community Development Director, said his department will study recommendations made by the team concerning how his department can improve.
Wade Jones, president of the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation, said the team's work has given the city a starting point on which to build and his organization intends to carefully examine.
Work for team members isn't over. They will make more in-depth presentations to various groups during the next several months, Crawford said.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.

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