After years of talk – and procrastination – on renovating the old King Edward Hotel in Jackson, Mayor Frank Melton’s ultimatum to his staff to do something in 30 days is a much-needed approach to getting something done.
It is distressing to learn that with investors and developers ready with a plan, the city itself apparently had not followed through on applying for a grant to the federal department of Housing and Urban Development for environmental cleanup and assessment of the property.
While a potential developer had thought the city was to apply for the grant last fall, nothing has been done. An administration spokesman said the application was to be delivered to HUD Monday.
Melton’s threat to do something in 30 days or tear it down is probably just that because it would take action by the Council and other legal hurdles.
However, the push to the city’s own personnel to get on with it is a welcomed and overdue action.
A $35 million plan for apartments, retail space and a restaurant in the historic old building is on the table awaiting city action. If it’s achieved, the city would benefit mightily.
Melton is right. It is time to get it done. If not, it is time to tear it down. It is too much of an eyesore as it is.