The role of the Hyrdro factory, future critic for Vidalia – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

When Sidney Murray saw the vision for a hydroelectric power station in the parish of Concordia, Louisiana almost 40 years ago, not everyone saw the future like him.

Yet the former mayor of Vidalia stood up for the clean energy plant and brought it to fruition, creating a legacy that continues to pay off for Vidalia residents and customers across the state.

Some of the advantages are immediately evident: abundant and cheap electricity for the inhabitants of Vidalia; the ability of the city of Vidalia to provide economic incentives based on tariffs and utility costs to businesses and industries, using this same abundant and affordable energy; and, the prestige that comes from having a clean, renewable world-class energy source just a few miles downstream.

Other benefits are less obvious, but just as impactful, especially when you consider the 2.5 million benefits for city dwellers this year.

These benefits come in the form of $ 2.5 million in royalties paid to Vidalia, which Mayor Buz Craft and the city council have pledged to return to residents of Vidalia in the form of utility reimbursements.

With increased revenue from the sale of power from the hydropower plant as well as more efficient tax management by the city, Craft said the city will be able to reimburse nearly 50% of the annual expenditure on services. audiences to customers. As the mayor said, these “big checks” will make a welcome Christmas present this year.

The key, however, is to ensure that the plant continues to reap the benefits of Vidalia. Smart governance is essential, as well as efforts to capitalize on the advantages of the power plant to recruit businesses and industries in Vidalia and the surrounding regions.

And, in 2030 – some 40 years after the plan was put online – the City of Vidalia will have the opportunity to invest again in its future by purchasing the hydroelectric plant. Whether this comes to fruition will depend on decisions made today and in the years to come, and whatever the decision, it is essential that Vidalia continues to benefit from the plant.

After all, it’s part of the vision Sidney Murray had so many years ago.

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