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Joint approach helps Adams, Natchez

Adams County expanded its government slightly just about a year ago with the creation of a new Adams County assistant fire coordinator position.

The aim of the position was to bolster the number of volunteer firefighters available to respond to fire calls in the county, but also to better train them.

The goal, from the county’s perspective, was to eventually lower the costs the county pays to the City of Natchez to have the city’s professional firefighters respond to every call in the county.

The new position cost county taxpayers approximately $40,000 plus benefits. Unfortunately, the fire coordinator’s work seems to be missing the mark. We’re not sure if the problem is the effort or simply that the idea that one person would be able to recruit a substantial number of new volunteer firefighting recruits.

Today, nearly six months into the fiscal year, county leaders say the effort is just a drop in the bucket to what is needed.

Perhaps the issue is that it’s just darned tough to find people who are qualified and willing to be on call 24-7 and risk their lives for someone else’s life and property.

If that’s the case, and hopefully county supervisors can dig into the issue soon, we urge supervisors to rethink their position with regard to the fire protection agreement with the City of Natchez.

We firmly believe Natchez and Adams County are one community that often acts and governs like it’s not. We urge city and county leaders to consider simply working together to consolidate portions of the government.

Could the City of Natchez split up the overlapping duties a bit and save taxpayer money in the process?

We wish the City of Natchez could simply handle fire protection for all — if your house is on fire, wouldn’t you want a full-time professional coming to help?

In return for fire protection, the city could dissolve the Natchez Police Department and let the Adams County Sheriff’s Office handle all law enforcement.

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