7/2/14

When a Failing Infrastructure Really Stinks

English: Hattiesburg Union Station in the earl...
Hattiesburg Union Station in the early 1900s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Downtown Hattiesburg has been plagued with an intermittent noxious odor for several years coming from an aging city lagoon used to treat industrial waste. On good days, it is barely noticeable. On bad days, it is downright oppressive and extends for miles. If a town were seeking ways to repel visitors, this would be a winning strategy.

On Saturday, local music promoters held a concert they billed at the "Hattiesburg Stink Fest." The idea was to bring greater attention to the problem in the hope that public pressure might push the city to finally do something about it.

According to WDAM reporter Charles Herrington, a member of the city council, Mary Dryden, spoke at the event. She was described as providing an update on the progress reportedly being made. Nobody I know who lives in that area has reported any progress, and that has been the case for several years now.

Councilwoman Dryden was quoted as saying, "My hope and my prayer is that this is behind us very quickly." It is nice to see an elected official making an appearance at an event like this and doing her best to be encouraging. It suggests that at least someone in city government might be listening. Still, hoping and praying have not produced a fix over the last several years. It would be nice to see some real action. This problem needs a real-world fix and not more prayer.

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