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December set for Natchez Transit System move

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Transit System has received an extension to complete the new regional transit facility and is scheduled to move its operations to the facility in December.

NTS Executive Director Sabrena Bartley said the original project completion date was Oct. 5, but it has been extended until Oct. 30.

Bartley said the contractor is working on painting and flooring on the interior of the building.

NTS cannot move into the building until the work is finished and equipment is assembled for the facility, Bartley said. The equipment includes mostly mechanical machines, such as vehicle lifts and equipment used for tire changes and oil changes.

The transit facility, its equipment, as well as two recently purchased trolleys, a commuter bus and two other passenger vehicles, are being funded by a $3 million federal stimulus package through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The ARRA funding stipulates that the items purchased by ARRA money must have been installed by Sept. 30, Bartley said.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation is providing $900,000 in funds to help pay for approximately $1 million in unforeseen costs for the facility.

The city will also have to pay approximately $200,000 in matching funds for the grant.

The facility will house the Natchez Transit System and will have tenant space available for transportation-related businesses, Bartley said.

The city has had “serious” inquiries from businesses about the space, Bartley said, but she could not name the businesses because no contracts have been signed.

The facility will also have training space and a conference room available as meeting space that local businesses can rent.

Bartley said she is eager to see the opening of the Natchez Regional Transit Facility.

“We’re just glad to see its progress at this stage,” she said. “I am really anxious to see the final product.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony with local, state and federal officials has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 15 at the facility, which is located at the former A-B Motor Company on North Shields Lane.

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