City gets MDOT grant to add two buses

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2000

The City of Natchez may have two new buses by the end of next month thanks to a grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

The buses, each about $80,000, will be smaller versions of the bright green &uot;pickle buses&uot; used for city tours, said Natchez Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown. The city hasn’t decided whether the new buses will replace the city’s two wooden trolleys, which have been in service for about five years, Brown said.

Natchez Senior Citizen Multi-Purpose Center Director Sabrena Bartley, who also oversees the city’s transit system, told aldermen Tuesday that the buses could be delivered by the end of May.

Email newsletter signup

The cost of the trolleys has grown too expensive for the city to afford new ones, Brown said, but the city could decide to sell them and make at least as much as the city paid for them.

The new buses will be slightly smaller than the green buses but will have an improved braking system — something Brown said will help if buses use steep roads like Silver Street and Roth’s Hill Road, which is scheduled to be rebuilt.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

Accepted the city’s audit report from independent auditor Billy Gillon.

Gillon told aldermen in their finance committee meeting prior to the regular board meeting that the audit was clean with the exception of &uot;historical record-keeping of fixed assets.&uot;

The finding is not related to current record-keeping, Gillon said. It refers to older assets — including buildings such as city hall — which need to be reevaluated. &uot;The records of the city are in good order,&uot; he said. &uot;I applaud the mayor and board of aldermen and city clerk and her staff, and in particular the department heads.&uot;

Alderwoman Sue Stedman said the process of reappraising some of the city’s older public properties could be lengthy and expensive. &uot;We’ve got to go back and establish a basis for properties at the time they were built,&uot; she said. &uot;It is expensive, it’s very time-consuming, and it’s not going to come cheap.&uot;

Awarded bids for furnishings — including chairs and tables — at the new community center to Blankenstein’s of Natchez for $37,972.16. The community center is scheduled to be completed next month. The first event there will be the Natchez Literary Celebration in June.