Union questions city

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 10, 1999

Members of United Steelworkers of America Local 303L went before the board of aldermen again Tuesday.

Union members, who have been embroiled in a labor dispute with Titan Tire for nearly a year, asked the city for information about contractor Mark Mason and about the substance carbon black, which some residents have said is settling on their property.

Local 303L board member Fred Frost told the board the union believes Mark Mason, who has provided contract labor to the Kelly Avenue tire plant, is operating illegally without a license.

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Frost also said the union is concerned about the level of carbon black in the air.

&uot;We believe the problem is a result of improper maintenance at the plant,&uot; he said.

Natchez Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown told union members that the problems did not fall under the city’s jurisdiction.

The state Board of Contractors has allowed Mason to operate, Brown said, and the city does not do any monitoring of the air quality. That monitoring is done by the state Department of Environmental Quality or the Environmental Protection Agency.

In other business, the board:

n Heard presentations from state insurance commissioner George Dale, who commended two Natchez firefighters who saved the life of a man at the Natchez-Adams County Airport.

The award for meritorious service was given to Chris Gibson and Wayne Tullos, who saved a man who had lost consciousness while cleaning an oil drum. The firefighters were off duty at the time. Gibson and Tullos were given certificates for their service.

n Recognized Natchez resident Flavius Freeman as part of the city’s PROUD program. PROUD&160;stands for Presentations Representing Our Unique Diversity. For every morning of the last eight years, Freeman has picked up litter along Melrose-Montebello Avenue.

&uot;I’ve been doing this for eight years, and I haven’t had anybody apply for the job,&uot; Freeman laughed.

n Appointed Dennis Short to the Natchez Preservation Commission.

n Scheduled a preliminary budget hearing for 6 p.m. Aug. 24, at the next regular meeting.

n Approved a resolution for emergency action to demolish a church at 1019 Martin Luther King St. The church was damaged in the February 1998 storm and in now threatening to fall on the house next door. The cost of asbestos abatement and demolition will be assesed to the property owner.

n Authorized City Attorney Walter Brown to consider legal action against roofing contractor Carothers, which worked on the Natchez Visitor Reception Center. Leaks in that building have not been fixed.