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County discusses $861,0000 in appropriations

NATCHEZ — The budget the Adams County Board of Supervisors is crafting has a tentative $861,098 in appropriations that include money for health services, emergency response non-profits and arts organizations.

The supervisors began meeting this week to craft the county budget for fiscal year 2013-2014, and gave their approval to County Administrator Joe Murray to include a number of appropriations in the budget.

Two of the largest appropriations — $119,263 to the Mississippi Department of Health and $77,143 to Southwest Mississippi Mental Health — were “pretty much required (by the state),” supervisor Angela Hutchins said.

Others, such as the $25,000 appropriated to the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society, were necessary because the NACHS provides a service to the county, supervisors’ president Darryl Grennell said.

“If we didn’t have the Humane Society here, we would have animals all over the place with no control whatsoever,” Grennell said. “Those people volunteer when there is a problem with dogs in the neighborhood tearing up trash, they will take that animal to the Humane Society and get it ready for adoption or euthanization. They are providing an assistance to Adams County.”

Supervisor Calvin Butler said he evaluates how an appropriation will affect the community before deciding on it. For example, the Red Cross helps the community during a time of need, he said.

“Some appropriations I see where there is a need in the community, and it makes a great impact, and with others they can save costs for us by us giving (them) some money and then utilizing their services that are free,” Butler said.

Grennell said the addition of the Mississippi Food Network into this year’s budget is one with he is especially pleased.

“I don’t want to see anybody hungry,” he said. “We can’t feed everybody, but the $5,000 we provided will help.”

Providing funding for organizations such as Natchez Little Theatre and the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration helps enhance the quality of life in Adams County, Grennell said.

“NLCC educates about local artists and writers from region — it kind of exposes hidden history,” Butler said. “For people who may have some kind of talent, those types of things can help bring their personalities out and help them develop as a functioning member of society.”

Supervisor David Carter said when looking at funding appropriations for qualified non-profits, he considers if it will generate income for the local community — for example, the arts events draw people into the area.

“When we can help people, especially those who can serve the general public, I don’t have a problem with it,” he said.

Supervisor Mike Lazarus said he does not have a problem with the appropriation process, but with one caveat.

“Before I would raise millage ever, we would go back and take the appropriations out,” he said.

Other appropriations the supervisors approved included:

$10,200 to the Adams County of Human Services

$12,112 for general assistance for paupers, including $1,000 for funeral expenses for paupers and $11,112 to Adams Jefferson Franklin Claiborne Community Action Agency.

$44,438 to the Natchez-Adams County Council on Aging.

$7,000 to the Red Cross

$5,000 to Catholic Charities-Guardian Shelter

$1,000 to the Natchez Children’s Home Child Advocacy Center

$78,097 to Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District

$3,250 to the Adams County Extension Service

$71,865 to Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District

$5,000 to NLCC

$2,500 to the Natchez Festival of Music

$2,500 to the Natchez Little Theatre

$165,000 to Natchez Inc.

$10,000 to the Miss-Lou Regional Steering Committee

$1,000 to Youth Leadership Natchez

$2,000 for Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce dues

$2,750 to the Alcorn State University Extension Program Farmer’s Market

$204,980 to the Natchez-Adams County Airport.