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Miss. River Mayors Discuss Econ Development/Disaster Assistance
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John Iwanski/CreativeCommons

A group of mayors along the Mississippi river are working to improve economic development as well as improving climate change-related disaster assistance.

More than two dozen mayors from cities along one of the nation’s largest rivers are meeting in Natchez this week to discuss how to make their communities better.

With so much historic flooding along the river this year, many of the city leaders are calling on the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help streamlining disaster preparedness programs.

Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons says federal assistance should help entire regions affected by disaster not just specific states.

“We recommend FEMA make changes to the program that would allow for broader, multi-state projects without state limitations and boundaries.”

Mississippi River Mayors are also looking for ways to improve the economic development. Clarksdale Mayor Bill Luckett says restoring some federal grants brings commerce up and down the river.

“Back in the day, it was the main way to transport just about everything and then rail and trucking sort-of overtook it,” says Luckett. “But now people are starting to realize the river is a very valuable resource for commerce.”

The mayors also hoping a new travel site launched by National Geographic will bring more tourism to towns along the waterway.