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County joins smart map effort

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors will approve a contract this week to begin a project with 14 other central Mississippi counties to update aerial maps.

Geographic Information System Manager Peter Dale informed the board Tuesday that the contract had come through ready to sign before the meeting, but that he suggested the board take a few days to review it with board attorney Scott Slover, who was not present at the meeting.

“We have a small window to get this done, but we may get a legal question reviewing the contract,” Dale said. “Thursday would be good to just put a rubber stamp on the deal.”

The project, he said, is an intelligent mapping system or “smart mapping” that allows the county to use the maps for various interactive features like locating all the fire hydrants in the county.

“(Geographic information systems) is kind of like Adams County’s own Google Earth,” Dale said. “Like a onion, this has so many layers that we will constantly be building information on.”

Additional resources that can be added onto the program, Dale said, would be increasing the E911 digital mapping system so that dispatchers and first responders could pinpoint a caller’s exact location.

Board President Darryl Grennell said the project would also be beneficial for economic development purposes.

“You create all these layers like drainage systems and all the fire plugs in Adams County that can be very beneficial to residents and future employers or industry,” Grennell said. “It’s a worthwhile investment for the future.”

By partnering with the other counties, Dale said he was able to drive the price down to $34,758 — not including a $10,000 reimbursement by the Mississippi Department of Transportation for completing the project.

Grennell said after the meeting the map work would commence within the next few weeks, making the maps ready to use by late spring or early summer.

In other news from the meeting:

-The board approved and signed a document requesting the state legislature further research the possibility of county inmates being housed at Adams County Correctional Center.

Even before any mention of the document, Grennell clarified to all board members that any action taken by the board did not obligate them in any way.

“It’s just putting the legislation in place,” Grennell said. “You have to get all that stuff in the hopper before the deadline, and that’s all we’re trying to do.

“We want to know if another company — like CCA in this situation — could house our inmates in lieu of building a new jail.”

ACCC is a federal immigration prison operated by Corrections Corporation of America.

Earlier this month, the supervisors began initial inquiries into what steps would have to be taken and how much it would cost to privatize the county’s adult jail, which is currently operated by the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.

Grennell said the deadline for local legislation is Jan. 28.

-Supervisor Mike Lazarus told the board that he had been receiving a high number of calls regarding loose horses in the county.

“We need to get with the sheriff and figure out what we’re going to do because when they call up there, (the sheriff’s office) tells them to call their supervisors,” Lazarus said. “I guess it’s going to take one going through a windshield and killing someone to get it fixed.”

Supervisor David Carter said apart from the money to pay the salary of a wrangler, there are other essential elements the county doesn’t have.

“They don’t have anywhere to house them or haul them,” Carter said. “It’s a serious issue but there’s a lot of complicated pieces.”

Grennell asked Carter and Lazarus to work together to further research a solution to the problem.