Land transfer for FEMA shelter nearly completePublished 12:08am Friday, July 27, 2012
NATCHEZ — The last legal step that needed to be taken before work on the FEMA 361 shelter can begin in earnest was completed this week.
The Adams County Board of Supervisors authorized President Darryl Grennell to execute a deed from the Natchez-Adams County School District that will transfer the property title of the site of the shelter to the county.
The $3.25 million FEMA 361 hurricane shelter — which will be located near Natchez High School — was first proposed in 2009, and when it is built will be able to withstand an F5 tornado and be self-sufficient for 72 hours.
Most funds for the shelter will be generated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the terms of the grant require that the building be located on school property.
“In order to get the grant, the county needs to own the property, and so what the school board has agreed to do is give the county the property or sell the county the property, in which case the county takes the property for the shelter and leases the property back to the school board,” Supervisors Attorney Scott Slover said.
Adams County will have to provide a $162,000 match, and Adams County Emergency Management Director Stan Owens said that match will be provided with in-kind contributions that will include doing site preparation.
The value of the land — $100,000 — is also considered to be part of the county’s in-kind contribution.
The school board recently passed a resolution authorizing the transfer of the land, and the county has agreed to accept it.
The terms of the transfer include a property reverter clause that will transfer the property back to the school board if the land is not used for a shelter or if the school district is not allowed to use the property, Slover said.
“The consideration (in the transfer) was that the school board would get a reverter and they would get to keep using the property,” he said. “The benefits the county bestows on the building would be what (the school district) gets out of (the transfer).”
Preliminary plans for the building are for a 10,000-square foot building with bathrooms, a kitchen area and equipment rooms.
Owens said the early stages of design, architectural work and pre-engineering for the project has been going on in the background, but the transfer of the land will speed things up.
“We have been waiting on this before we pushed hard on the designs,” Owens said.
The next step will be to advertise for bids for the designs, he said.
The preliminary plans for the site were submitted by AEDD-Plus of Laurel.