Slow, methodical process on new port project is exactly what is needed

Published 10:44 am Wednesday, October 30, 2019

As children, we all were told the story of the tortoise and the hare; how the hare raced out to a huge lead and then started to rest on that lead, letting the slow, methodical tortoise catch up and eventually win.

It was a great lesson in the advantages of taking a step-by-step approach toward a goal, making sure each step is done well and is taken in the correct direction.

Such can be said for the due diligence taking place involving the idea of a new port for Vicksburg.

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On the surface, it is frustrating to read about another study being ordered, a firm being selected for this review or analysis, and then another for yet another part of the work. The steps are at times boring to read about and tedious in detail.

But the steps being taken by the Board of Mayor and Alderman and officials with the Vicksburg Warren Economic Development Partnership are in the right direction and methodical for a purpose.

When it comes to a multi-million dollar investment by local and state governments, we expect the work to be tedious and their decision to take time.

When it comes to a project of such scale, we hope and expect the steps are slow, methodical and well-discussed.

The opposite would be far worse.

With such an idea — an idea that would further solidify Vicksburg’s and Warren County’s strong foothold on economic development in the region — making a decision too quickly would lead to mistakes that would cost time, money and opportunity.

If this project becomes reality, there is no telling how big of an impact it can have on our local economy. The jobs created could be substantial and the spinoff business from a new port would only magnify that impact.

The addition of a major industry such as Continental Tire to the region only makes such a need – and potential impact — so much greater.

A new port, when combined with our interstate access, air and rail capabilities, will make Vicksburg and Warren County a must-visit for any industry looking to locate in this region. Add to those assets a large site at Ceres Industrial Park that is ready for development, and this area checks many of the boxes any industry or business will have on their list.

When it comes to economic development, patience is key, and thankfully, our elected and economic leaders are being patient and taking the steps necessary for the port decision to be the best decision.