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Rienzi: Old, new regime sworn in
by Jebb Johnston
Jun 27, 2013 | 191 views | 0 0 comments | 250 250 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RIENZI — The top concern for Rienzi’s elected officials is as simple as milk and bread.

With the recent closing of a convenience store next to the Town Hall, there is nowhere in town to buy those staples. The nearest convenience stores are several miles away on U.S. Highway 45.

“I can’t make miracles happen, but it’s a bad feeling that you haven’t even got a convenience store,” said Mayor Walter Williams. “That’s my number one priority right now.”

Williams, who took the oath for a second term Thursday afternoon after running unopposed, said he hopes the owner of the closed business can work out a deal with an interested prospect.

The two new members of the Board of Aldermen who took the oath Thursday, Dale Leonard and Betty Williams, share the concern about the need for new business.

Leonard, a retired newsman, does not like having to drive to Booneville or Corinth to get a hamburger.

“This used to be a thriving town,” he said. “Businesses have left, and we have got to do something to stimulate the economy.”

He also hopes to see a new use for the former Wurlitzer industrial building and some beautification efforts in the town.

Betty Williams is a Rienzi mail carrier and aunt of Rep. Tracy Arnold.

“It’s a good little town,” she said. “I just want to do anything I can to help.”

The mayor said there is some good news for the town as a new business opening in Rienzi will offer Internet and phone service.

He is working with legislators to explore possibilities for the old Wurlitzer facility, including a grant to improve the building. He would like to see it house a new employer or a community center with a walking trail.

Returning board members Sandra Williams, David Massey and Harold Palmer also took the oath for another term. The municipal clerk, Elaine Pitts, also recited the oath.

The first regular meeting of the new board will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
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