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Supervisors seek grant for health and human services building’s roof

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to match up to $200,000 in a grant application to fix the roof at the county Department of Health and Human Services building.

The vote — which was not a direct commitment to spend the funds — was on a resolution to provide a 50-percent match if the county is given a Community Development Block Grant for the roof.

Architect Johnny Waycaster said the proposed new roof for the building will last 20 years and will come with a manufacturer’s warranty. The current roof on the building has reached its life expectancy, and its gutter system is worn out, he said.

“What is there now is a single ply plastic roof,” Waycaster said. “It was designed to last for 15 years, and it was put on 15 years ago.”

Allen Laird with Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District said that while the resolution was for the county to match the grant up to $200,000, the total estimated budget for the roof was $326,000, making the county’s proposed match approximately $163,000.

The extra money in the commitment was a contingency in case the project costs went up, something Laird said he did not anticipate.

Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said the county wanted to set the match commitment for the grant application at 50 percent because applications with higher matches are given better scores.

In other news:

•The board heard from resident Benedict Udemgba, who said drainage from the 25 acres near his residence on Morgantown Road is causing problems on his property, with the force of water even taking away vegetation.

Udemgba said the water flow issue has been ongoing for years, but was recently made worse by roadwork.

Road Manager Robbie Dollar said the natural flow of the water had been obstructed on Udemgba’s property by logging activity, and County Engineer Jim Marlow said he could not say to what extent the county had a liability in the matter.

•The board also heard from Francis Ransom Jr., who said he was concerned that heavy equipment used for oil well work in the area of Mount Carmel Road was going to damage the road.

Dollar said the oil company was going to assume liability for the road and would repair it once the work was completed.

•When Capt. Ed Turner of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office asked the board to discuss juvenile inmate transport and medical treatment, board attorney Scott Slover said the issue needed to be worked out between the sheriff’s office and Adams County Youth Court Judge John Hudson.

“The judge is the one who issues orders on transportation of juveniles,” Slover said. “If Judge Hudson does not want to do that, there is nothing this board can do.”

Hudson said he has previously had a conference with the sheriff about the issue and the two have plans to discuss it again at a later date.

•The supervisors approved an interfund loan in the amount of $270,393 to pay for the relocation of a sewer line on the former Belwood country club property.

The interfund loan will be reimbursed when the county issues a bond for other infrastructure work — including the construction of a levee — on the Belwood site, County Administrator Joe Murray said.

•The board adopted a resolution instructing all county departments, boards and commissions to direct all industrial prospects to Natchez Inc as the county’s official economic development body.

The resolution was written by the previous board, Slover said, but had never been officially enacted.