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Mayor says city has big projects for 2021

Despite limitations due to COVID, Percy Bland said 2020 was a good year financially for Meridian
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 3:42 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Mayor Percy Bland addressed Meridian Rotarians today, speaking about the challenges of running a city during an epidemic and looking ahead to 2021. There were major setbacks back in the spring, with the closures of many small businesses.

“We made a lot of policy decisions,” said Bland. “And once there was reopening, it gave them the flexibility to keep their doors opens and continue to see their clients and to do things to keep food on the table for a lot of people.”

Despite the challenges of COVID, Bland says he’s proud of the fact that the city’s sale taxes were up, there has been no tax increase and most of the economic and business development projects continued.

“The city council just voted on a $12 million paving bond. We are continuing to knock down houses that are dilapidated across town and we have a 90 percent completion on our Mississippi Power project with LED lighting,” Bland said.

Mayor Bland also faces other challenges in 2021. He says getting things accomplished in an election year, at times, can be tough as well as simply changing people’s mindset about the city.

“My focus is on this city and being positive. And my focus is on all the naysayers’ energy being pushed aside so we can focus in on the great things that are going on in our city. When people look at their city a year from now, they won’t know their city coming into downtown and also the things you’ve got going on,” said the mayor.

Bland added that 2021 should be a boon in Meridian with the expected completion of the Threefoot Courtyard by Marriott, The Children’s Museum on 22nd Avenue, a downtown brewery and Progressive Pipeline moving its office downtown. There are also ongoing projects along Frontage Road and in the Bonita Lakes area as well as the North Hills area of Meridian.

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