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Alliance lays out five-year, $6M plan

[8/29/03]A group formed two years ago to coordinate community agencies and organizations on Thursday adopted a five-year strategic plan for Vicksburg and Warren County.

The Community Alliance of Vicksburg Warren County plan focuses on economic development and tourism.

Members are representatives from the city, county, school district, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Foundation and other organizations, but they’ve had no funding.

The plan is estimated to cost up to $6.2 million, and Charlotte Koestler Duffey, the interim director hired last month, said next is raising money.

“I’m working on it,” Duffey said.

Steve Dorough, a consultant with First Community Development, said they will be conducting interviews with government, corporate and community leaders in the next two months to see how much in public and private contributions can be raised. He said the amount they will raise may be less, but that the plan can be modified.

The Alliance plan calls for supporting and pushing for community projects including the $60,000 Buxston retail trade analysis, moving rail tracks from downtown, converting the U.S. 80 Mississippi River bridge to a pedestrian and bicycle park, consolidating more city and county departments, issuing bonds to fund school facilities’ improvements and a countywide public transportation system.

Most of those ideas have been around for years, but never gotten off the ground. The goal of the alliance when formed was to pull together resources and set objectives under one organization.