Fulton plans more renovations

By Adam Armour | Itawamba County Times

Continuing what was started with the last year’s drastic renovations to the city’s downtown area, Fulton officials are currently looking at some significant cosmetic changes in several areas.
According to Mayor Paul Walker, the city is garnering estimates for replacing the four street lights on South Adams Street with more decorative counterparts — similar to those found in the downtown area.
“We’ve been dressing up our downtown area, and now we want to give folks something fresh to look at as they come into the city limits,” Walker said. “We thought the traffic lights would be a good starting place.”
Currently, each stop light hangs from its respective intersection. The new lights would be suspended from poles.
The change would be cosmetic only and would not involve any changes to the actual locations of the lights. The mayor said he hopes for construction to begin in late September or early October.
On the other end of town, city officials are looking for ways to better unify the waterway walking track and the downtown area.
According to Walker, the city recently requested Mississippi State based non-profit planning group The Carl Small Town Center (CSTC), which previously helped in planning the downtown park, write a proposal and draw plans for a new boulevard at the far end of Main Street, where the road intersects with the Access Road.
If completed, the planned boulevard would run between the traffic lanes from the intersection into the downtown Fulton area, concluding near Dr. David Cole’s house on the ICC campus. Planned features include sidewalks, lighting and an eight-foot greenery area.
Walker said the change would add a greater sense of cohesiveness among the walking track, ICC and downtown areas.
“The walking track is tied into the Whitten Center and the campgrounds. The last leg we lack is tying that area into our downtown and the community college campus,” Walker said. “This will get us one step closer to brining everything together.”
Walker added that the city is considering purchasing and demolishing several dilapidated properties in the western portion of downtown in order to improve the aesthetics of the area. Eventually, he hopes more businesses will choose to locate there.
“Even if we can’t get more businesses to locate down there, I still think opening that area into our downtown will be a plus for the city,” he said.
According to the mayor, feedback for the downtown renovations — including the construction of both the Playgarden Park and Tenn-Tom Trail — has been extremely popular. Calling it one of the most popular projects in the city’s history, Walker said he’d like future renovations to include input from the community as a whole.
“We’re getting a lot of response from the community about different ideas and we’re going to gladly accept those ideas,” the mayor said. “We want everyone in the community involved.”
Suggestions city officials are seriously considering include adding more lighting to the downtown area and relocating power lines throughout the area underground.
“We’re really excited about the future of our downtown area,” Walker said.

Adam Armour can be reached at 862-3141, by e-mailing adam.armour@journalinc.com or by visiting his blog at itawamba360.com.