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Leyens pledges support to group

[06/29/01] Mayor-elect Laurence Leyens pledged city support Thursday morning to a group of business leaders who say they are striving to unite duplicated services and improve communication in the community.

Leyens, who takes office Sunday, spoke briefly during the monthly meeting of the Vicksburg-Warren County Coalition of Business and Community Organizations.

“I think this is a great group and the city is really looking for all of you to drive our plan,” Leyens said.

The coalition was formed in January to develop a blueprint to help support local industry and create a stronger economy.

“We are still in our infancy right now, but we will get better and better,” Chairman Curt Follmer said.

Also at their meeting Thursday, the 13 members present chose Mike Warren as vice chairman of the coalition.

Warren, who is employed at Waterways Experiment Station, volunteers at the United Way of West Central Mississippi.

Follmer, senior vice president of Rainbow Casino, said the combined strengths of the members can make a difference.

Plans of the organization include improving road maintenance and public safety, increasing recreation and entertainment on the riverfront, redeveloping downtown Vicksburg and promoting tourism to the area.