It’s the main goal for the Commission on the Future of Alcorn County and one chairman Greg Williams believes is being accomplished on a daily basis.
“Since 2010, the commission has been working behind the scenes to make a difference in the lives of the citizens of Corinth and Alcorn County,” he said earlier this week during the commission’s annual community forum. “It’s very humbling to see everything that is going on behind the scenes through the commission.”
The group of leaders works to create a community culture that promotes infrastructure development, educational enhancements and strong community values in an ongoing effort to increase the quality of life in Alcorn County.
In the last year, the commission has worked with city and county officials on long term planning.
They facilitated a planning session with the Stennis Institute for Government at Mississippi State University, worked with The Orion Group to gather data into specific focus items and created strategic action steps for the future.
From this an advisory group was created and soon more information will be released detailing the inclusive vision for Corinth and Alcorn County’s future called Corinth 2040. The information will be presented to the public and converted into a concrete plan of action.
Infrastructure improvements overseen by the commission have included the design and easement acquisition of a $5 million drainage project, the completion of the expansion at Crossroads Regional Park, the addition of fire protection areas through Corinth Gas & Water and projects through Alcorn County Electric Power Association which has improved reliability. Improvements have also been made in such areas as the Avectus building, renovations on Wick Street, new sidewalks and lighting on Meigg Street and the construction of Hobby Lobby, as well as improvements made to the Harper Road roundabout through other partnerships.
The commission is also working to strengthen families in Alcorn County. They hope to accomplish this by implementing the 50/5 rule. Through a partnership with the Corinth Rotary Club, the two groups have setup a task force to reduce juvenile crime by 50 percent in five years.
After being named a certified Excel By 5 community in 2014, the commission continues to help the Corinth-Alcorn County Excel By 5 Coalition to solidify the programs initiated during the certification process and expand to reach more children through early childhood development.
Attention has also been given to improving education in the Corinth and Alcorn County school districts and continued workforce development through local civic organizations and the two school districts.
Williams said the commission's work is thanks to the deciated, hard-work of the group's steering committee.
“We have many on our steering committee who are actually working day-to-day to make our community better,” he added.
In addition to Williams, steering committee members include Ben Albarracin, Bobby Capps, Lee Childress, Amy Craven, Johnny Crotts, Yvonne Fair, Brett Garrett, Steve Glidewell, Mona Lisa Grady, Jason Grisham, Allison Hall, John James, Tammy Johnson, John D. Mercier, Chris Porterfield, Ronnie Sleeper, Orma Smith, Danny Turner, Antione Walker and Sandy Williams.
The commission on Alcorn County’s future, which began as a special project of Corinth-Alcorn Reaching for Excellence (CARE), is patterned after the Tupelo-based CREATE Foundation’s Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi. CARE receives funding from community members and, through CREATE endowments, offers grants to community organizations. CARE’s crowning achievement may be the CARE Honor Garden and Depot Complex, a green space area on Fillmore Street used for such events as the Crossroads Museum's Green Market.
(For more information on the commission, visit careforcorinth.com.)