Board pledges to keep funding EDA

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 12, 1999

The board of aldermen has pledged to continue funding the Natchez-Adams Economic Development Authority for the next two years.

Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown said the board agreed to fund the EDA so that the authority can continue its search for an executive director.

&uot;They need to be able to ensure a reasonable term of employment (for the applicants)&uot; Brown said.

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The city budget for this fiscal year allows the city to fund the EDA&160;$50,000 once it is restructured, which could come after next winter’s Legislative session. Brown said Tuesday’s pledge will fund the authority for the next fiscal year as well.

&uot;This board has said time and time again that it would be difficult to talk about multi-year funding while we’re in the waning months of an administration,&uot; Brown said.

In other business, the board:

— Heard from Police Chief Willie Huff that the police department, recreation department and Natchez-Adams School District will begin an educational program on underage drinking. The program, which will start at the Central Alternative School, will give students the chance to play games with goggles specially designed to show them the effects of drinking has on their ability to drive.

— Recognized the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race Committee as the PROUD program – Programs Representing Our Unique Diversity.

&uot;We just want to give you our thanks for the hard work you do for the promotion of this great event,&uot; Brown said.

The balloon race will be held this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Rosalie Bicentennial Gardens.

— Heard from Tourism Management Director Walter Tipton that visitation numbers for the month of October are so far double what they were for the month last year, with more than 10,000 people coming through the doors of the Natchez Visitor Reception Center in the first 10 days of October.

— Approved a resolution to pursue joining the Lower Mississippi River Alliance, which is part of the American Heritage Rivers program. Brown said the program could help the city get grants for riverside development if Natchez is accepted.

— Adopted a moratorium on issuing permits for irrigation systems located on city property, particularly those adjacent to sidewalks and other city rights-of-way. Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux requested the moratorium, which she said could last about four weeks, because the inspection and engineering departments and Natchez Water Works are concerned about possible contamination.

The city will call a meeting with local landscape contractors, nurseries and landowners to discuss the necessity of obtaining permits and license requirements to comply with local, state and federal health requirements.

— Approved a recommendation from City Attorney Walter Brown to begin taking bids for the next phase of demolition at the convention center site.

— Heard from Mayor Brown that the city has received a $55,000 grant for a victim witness program at the Sunshine Shelter for Abused and Neglected Children.