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Supervisors declare drainage emergency, vote to work on private property

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors voted Monday morning to take emergency measures and enter private property to correct drainage problems in the Cloverdale area.

Supervisor Mike Lazarus said a drainage ditch in the Cloverdale subdivision has filled in over the years, and now when it rains water approaches and sometimes enters the residences there.

Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said the lack of adequate drainage also threatens the county-maintained road in the area.

The problem is that the main drainage ditch is located on private property, and County Engineer Jim Marlow said no record exists of the county having a drainage easement for the area.

Board Attorney Scott Slover said the county can go onto private property to address a drainage problem if the board makes a finding that the work promotes the health and welfare of the community at large.

“If the road and the citizens are affected, that’s a double whammy,” Slover said.

Rather than having to advertise for drainage easements, Slover said the county only has to give the landowners notice and time to object to the project before moving forward. Slover said he would likely have the homeowners informed in-person to make sure they were aware of the work.

Lazarus said the property owners have already expressed support for the work.

The supervisors also awarded a bid of $149,800.41 to O.D. Smith Construction of Brookhaven for the repair of the Deerfield Road bridge, which was closed due to structural integrity issues in September. The bridge serves as the main artery into the Homochitto National Forest from southern Adams County.

Deerfield Road is a state aid road. While the bid was for twice the state aid engineer’s estimated price for the bridge’s repair, after Marlow and other engineers reviewed the bids, they determined the bid price was correct and that the state aid estimate was low.

Officials with state aid told the supervisors the county could fund the bridge project from its state aid account, which has approximately $1.9 million in non-obligated funds available.