COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Early in the morning, Mayor Robert Smith, Columbus City Council, along with department heads took a trip around Columbus, gathering information and analyzing different wards, looking for ways to improve them.
“We’re getting a good idea as to some of the work that needs to be done in the wards as far as from an infrastructure standpoint, from storm drainage, sewer problems, water problems, deterioration of the streets, etc.This will give us a good idea to where we could look at a game plan and short range plan for the next 3 years,” said Mayor Smith.
Leaders inspected Wards 1, 2 and 3. For Councilman Gene Taylor, bad roads are the eye sore on the southside of town.
“We had several calls from citizens in this area, that travel this road, knowing we just paved it in the last year. They were very concerned about their tax dollars and how it was being used. The infrastructure in Ward 1 has begun to shape up, but there are still areas we definitely have to pay close attention to,” said Councilman Taylor.
In Ward 2, Councilman Jospeh Mickens knows that storm drainage is their major issue.
“We have some serious drainage problems in East Columbus. So I want them to get out there and see the area for themselves,” said Councilman Mickens.
By driving through and stopping at each and every ward, city officials want citizens to know that they not only care about their concerns, but that elected officials are working together to make sure progress happens.
“Instead of just coming to the council meeting and just hearing the councilman talk about his concerns and his problems in his ward, now we can have a hands-on , eye-view of what that councilman is going through. And that’s going to help us come together and work more cohesively,” said Councilman Mickens.
At one stop, city leaders ran into Estella Smith who lives on Ridge Road. She was surprised but happy to see her elected officials walk by.
“I think it’s a great idea. As far as we’re concerned, we never had a drainage problem, but the only concern we have is they’re coming around spraying the grass and the grass is never coming back alive. But other than that I think they’re doing a tremendous job,” said Smith.
Leaders wrapped up their first trip around 12pm.
Wednesday they’ll get bright and early again, touring Wards 4, 5 and 6. Officials will then discuss their findings on a retreat scheduled for Thursday.