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GA building repaired, tourism tax already making a difference

February 16, 2013

The West Point/Clay County Growth Alliance has been busy during the first month-plus of 2013.
Two weeks ago, GA Director Cynthia Wilson hosted the 87th Annual Banquet for the city under the theme “Our Secrets Revealed.”
Over the past few weeks workers have been busy remediating the Growth Alliance building due to mold issues. The building, constructed in 1915, was remediated thanks to money donated by the West Point Community Foundation and Milton Sundbeck.
“Over the years the French drain that was put in when the building was constructed had filled in an no longer helped drain water away from the building,” Wilson said. “Add to that the gutters that were stopped up and downspouts that were rusted. It set the building up for moisture problems.”
The basement of the building was the focus of the remediation for mold removal and air quality improvement.
“The last of the work is being finished up with the installation of a new French drain around the front and sides of the building,” Wilson said. “If it had not been for the donation to the Growth Alliance by the WPCF and Sundbeck, we would not have been able to get the work done.”

Putting the 1 Percent Tax to Work
None of the money used for the work at the Growth Alliance building came from the collected revenue on the One Percent Sales Tax on restaurants and lodging passed back in September.
That money is being used on several projects that include beautification of the city and better directions for tourists to the downtown district.
“On January 7, billboards were placed on Highway 45 Alternate North and South of West Point promoting the downtown,” Wilson said. “These billboards are being paid for with tourism revenue.”
There is one billboard on the way out of town near U.S. Highway 82, facing south. The other is on the north end of town facing drivers heading in West Point’s direction.
There are also new signs up on the main drag directing visitors to Mossy Oak and Northeast Mississippi Medical Center’s West Point campus.
It has only been a few months since the revenue started to be collected in town and citizens are already seeing results. With a new Howlin’ Wolf Blues Museum, the festival in his honor, the April Art Walk and the Prairie Arts Festival on the way, the town should look good for all of the tourists who plan to spend those weekends in Clay County.

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