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Casino gives city money for police laptops

NATCHEZ — Magnolia Bluffs Casino representatives presented the City of Natchez with a $16,798 check that will fund laptops for police patrol cars Tuesday at the board of aldermen’s meeting.

Casino President Kevin Preston presented the check to the city and thanked the board of aldermen for their support during the journey to the casino’s opening. Preston said he hoped the funding for the laptops helps the police department better serve Natchez residents.

The check will fund 18 laptops and their mounting hardware for Natchez Police Department patrol cars. The city will be purchasing the software for the computers.

The board of aldermen also voted to take the bids the city received for construction for the North Natchez Drainage Project Phase II-B under advisement and award the bids at a later date.

The bids are as follows:

4Dozier, $848,632

4Dirt Works, approximately $1.16 million

4Camo Construction, approximately $1 million

4Oddee Smith Construction, $702,151

4Midway Construction, $643,310

4Anderson Contracting, $774,685

4W.E. Blain & Sons, $678,957

4Blade Construction, $697,189

City Engineer David Gardner said construction should start sometime in late February or March 2013.

In other news from the meeting:

4During the board’s finance meeting, Gardner updated the board on a few city projects.

Gardner informed the board that the construction of the regional transit facility is two weeks behind due to the weather.

The Master Gardeners, Gardner said, are currently working on planting more trees for their downtown beautification project.

Gardner said the city is hoping to work with neighboring counties to obtain a recycling cooperative grant that is presented to regional recycling cooperative organizations by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

The grant can be up to $400,000, Gardner said. He said the doors for the grant have really opened to the city since curbside recycling was included in the city’s waste collection contract with Waste Pro USA.

Gardner said the city hopes to have curbside recycling available by June 2013, which is when he said the grant application is due.

4AJFC Community Action Agency Executive Director Sandra Sewell appeared before the board during its finance meeting to inform the board of several AJFC services that can benefit residents.

Those services include the Head Start program, which serves 400 students, community services block grant that assists residents with employment, education needs, housing, food, medical costs and other needs and a low-income energy assistance program that provides utility bill assistance.

The agency also provides help during disasters and free income tax service.

For more information about AJFC services, visit ajfccommunityaction.org or call 601-442-8681.

4Mayor Butch Brown asked Gardner to ask the Cemetery Road oil well developers to have their tank truck drivers take an alternate route to get the trucks off Linton Avenue.

Brown said he has noticed damage to the road and would prefer the trucks travel a different route.

Gardner said the city has a bond with the developers through which the developers are required to repair any damage caused by the trucks.

4The board voted to cancel its next meeting this month. The board’s next meeting will now be Jan. 8.