MEMPHIS, TN (KFVS) - Mayors of towns and cities along the Mississippi River recently held a summit to discuss river based economy and river safety.
Leaders of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative (MRCTI) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced several breakthroughs during what's called a first of its kind Mississippi River Economy Summit. The summit was hosted by MRCTI, the Delta Regional Authority and the City of Memphis.
"The Mississippi River is the lifeblood of the Delta region's economy," DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill said. "The DRA recognizes the important role the commercial and physical vitality of the River plays in supporting our regional and local economies. Oftentimes, innovation and leadership is driven at the local level, and in this case, our mayors are the ones driving the growth of our region to become a player in the global economy by utilizing the assets of the Mississippi River. We are proud to be a part of this partnership with the mayors, ports, and shipping industry."
During the Summit, Wal-Mart Stores, Memphis-based Chism Hardy Investments, Ingram Barge Company, America's Central Port, and the Illinois Soybean Association pledged to work together toward container shipping on the Mississippi River.
According to summit leaders, this will relieve freight congestion, create economic opportunity for its ports and other inter-modal industries and attract investment in the river infrastructure.
The Department of Transportation says freight bottlenecks on the River cost the American economy $200 billion per year.
Thirteen mayors participated in the meeting and briefing including: Mayor Donnie Brown of New Madrid, Mayor David Lattus of Hickman, Kentucky and Mayor Harry Rediger of Cape Girardeau.