City should plan for more amenities

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We would like to say thank you to the city of Picayune, the police department and the Kiwanis Club for thinking of disabled children in the area.

As we reported on Tuesday, the city is installing a swing for wheelchair-bound people at Friendship Park. The swing was paid for by a fundraiser organized by the police department and through Kiwanis Club donations.

The swing will be the first of its kind in the area, and we hope its popularity will inspire other communities to make similar investments.

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Making our community more livable for those with disabilities means making investments in handicapped-accessible amenities. These amenities are worth the cost and effort, not only because they help bring our community together—allowing the handicapped into spaces normally off limits—but also because they make our community more marketable and appealing to businesses and new residents.

The more amenities we offer, the better position we are in to serve existing residents and potential newcomers.

We already have great public schools and beautiful, affordable communities. We have the foundation for a solid community, but we do not yet have many of the amenities of surrounding counties. For instance, we do not yet have bike lanes or a farmers market—both common amenities in nearby communities. These are attractions that add real dollar value to neighborhoods and retail establishments.

We suggest our city’s leaders develop a multi-year plan to introduce more features into the area over a gradual period of time. These additions do not need to be expensive and, as we have seen with the swing, civic groups are willing to partner with the city to improve living conditions. What we need now is direction, and an amendment to the master plan for a better Picayune.