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One small step for board, one giant leap for kids

NATCHEZ — A day at the park could soon leave Adams County’s children feeling like they’re walking on the moon.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to purchase two inflatable jumping houses — also known as “space walks” or “moon jumpers” — for use in county parks.

Supervisor Angela Hutchins said she had looked into the matter, and each inflatable house would cost approximately $900.

The county’s insurance provider told her the jumpers would not affect insurance rates as long as someone with the county was always present when the jumpers were in use, Hutchins said.

Hutchins and Supervisors Calvin Butler and Darryl Grennell voted for the motion, but Supervisor David Carter balked at the idea.

“I used to be on the recreation board, and we bought a lot of stuff, and it was easy for things like that to go missing,” Carter said.

Supervisor Mike Lazarus was also against the proposal.

“The only thing I am afraid of is that there are people who are in the business of renting those things, and I hope we are not going to be getting into competition with private businesses,” Lazarus said.

Grennell responded that the county provides many services that could be considered to be in competition with private businesses.

Hutchins said the jumpers would be available for use at events in all county parks, but that they would not be allowed to leave county property.

In other news:

4The supervisors hosted a public hearing — which had no comment — for an ordinance that would allow the county to create the position of litter control officer.

Interviews for the position will begin today.

•Sheriff Chuck Mayfield spoke with the supervisors about needs that have presented themselves at the sheriff’s office.

The most immediate need is for a full-time maintenance person in the sheriff’s office complex, which includes the county jail, he said.

The main thing in that building is security, and we are having a lot of problems due to the age of that building,” Mayfield said. “When (the county maintenance crew) comes in and inspect and fix something, something else breaks.”

The county could also consider building a new jail that includes sheriff’s offices and a justice court courtroom to save time and manpower in the transportation of prisoners, Mayfield said.

Other needs include a new F-250 pickup truck for the county litter crew and a booking officer for the jail, he said.

The sheriff also gave the supervisors a report of the department’s annual cost-saving measures. The department has been able to save $180,035.15 through the use of grants, donations, seized drug money and other funding sources such as the inmate commissary and the sheriff’s rodeo, he said.

•The supervisors approved two tower modification applications from AT&T that will reportedly improve 4G service in the northern and southern halves of the county.

•The board recognized Quality Glass as Business of the Month.

•The board opened and took under advisement bids for a rail construction project in the Natchez-Adams County port.

The apparent low bid came from Grace Railroad Contractors Inc. at $212,982.62.

County Engineer Jim Marlow said the estimated cost for the project was $264,000.

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