CANTON, MS (WLBT) - Step by step, Canton Mayor William Truly and his administration plan to walk every neighborhood street, peer into every ditch, inspect every house, and catalog every dilapidated property in hopes of turning it all around.
"We're tired of blight, of slums," Mayor Truly says. "We don't want to look up ten years from now and see these houses are the same, no one tried to help, no one tried to intervene."
Assistant Police Chief Bracy Coleman is at his side, pointing out problems like rusted electrical connections and pools of sewer water. They've distributed questionnaires so residents can detail their issues.
"We go to the house and knock because we can observe the conditions on the outside, but we want to observe on the inside," Coleman says.
Water runoff has to go somewhere. The mayor wants to cover up every hazardous ditch to make the city more safe and more aesthetic.
Mayor Truly understands his massive neighborhood stabilization and revitalization project could take years to accomplish, and he believes it can be funded through federal grants, it's just a matter of applying for them. He's had conversations with Congressman Bennie Thompson, who may be able to provide assistance with the federal process.
Mayor Truly also plans to hold landlords accountable. "We want the slum lords to come in and fix up their properties. If they decide not to, we've looking to condemn them," he says.
The long range goal is to build new neighborhoods and a new quality of life.
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