A team of specialists from the Mississippi Development Authority has analyzed New Albany’s assets and attractiveness to visitors, as well as potential manufacturers and developers.
While generally praising New Albany’s downtown, parks, the Union County Heritage Museum, and Baptist Memorial Hospital, the group suggested a number of “tweaks” to improve community attractiveness and signage for visitors.
Diane O’Toole, who headed the state group, said the downtown exit off U.S. 78 (Interstate 22) needs to be developed at the “gateway” to the city. She suggested working with the state to landscape the exit, keep the grass mowed, and develop and enforce uniform building codes along the route (Carter Avenue) downtown.
She recommended improving signage to downtown, the museum and parks by installing upscale, attractive signs featuring the logo already on New Albany’s entrance signs.
The group recommended brick pedestrian crosswalks downtown, landscaped curb cuts and installation of larger flag pennants and extend the pennants and decorative lighting west beyond the Tallahatchie River.
“Pretty sells, ugly don’t,” she told the audience at the Union County Development Association annual meeting last week.
The group also suggested other things, including designating the Highway 30 exit at U.S. 78 as the “medical corridor,” promoting the Bankhead Highway and the Tanglefoot Trail for tourism, and pushing expansion of the museum.
We support all of the recommendations made by the Development Authority. None are beyond the long-term means of the city; the problem is malaise, not money.