Presentations will take place at a council work session, which is open to the public, and will provide highlights of the committee's findings. But a more in-depth meeting is tentatively planned later for municipal leaders.
After that, final recommendations will be produced and shared during one or more community meetings, said council President Fred Pitts.
"The sooner the better," he said, "We don't need to sit on this."
The special committees, composed mostly of business leaders and organized by the Community Development Foundation, have been meeting weekly since the week of Feb. 21.
Each is investigating a different component of the multimillion-dollar proposal to stabilize Tupelo's middle class.
In the past decade, Tupelo's population has grown 1 percent versus 40 percent in Saltillo and 76 percent in Guntown.
Those communities, both located in north Lee County, also experienced greater increases in median household incomes than did Tupelo.
"We're losing the middle class in Tupelo," Reed said at a recent City Council work session. "We're becoming like a barbell - apartment-dwellers and poorer people and then larger homes, but we're losing our middle class. In my mind, what we can do about that is try to do projects that impact the neighborhoods, and through the neighborhoods the school system. That is the plan."
To halt the trend, Reed proposed a multi-pronged approach whose details are being fleshed out by the committees:
- One is studying a plan to reinvest in older neighborhoods through a series of efforts including the purchase and demolition of dilapidated homes for redevelopment.
- Another committee is researching a proposal to offer low-interest, city-backed mortgage loans to entice families into purchasing homes in Tupelo.
- A third is investigating the feasibility of a college tuition guarantee plan, which would pay 65 to 100 percent of tuition to a four-year state university for Tupelo's high school graduates.
- The final group is studying strategies to beef up code enforcement and restructure the city's rental property licensing program.
Members of the groups include bankers, doctors, real estate agents, business leaders, educators, nonprofit heads, city department heads and attorneys. At least one City Council member and one Community Development Foundation employee are assigned to each group.
CDF assembled the committees and also is providing professional research and guidance.
Not included in the proposals are strategies for combating issues related to the Tupelo Public School District, which some residents and city leaders have identified as a factor behind Tupelo's declining middle class.
School officials, however, have launched their own efforts to examine community concerns and seek input on discipline and academic issues.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.