Aldermen approve $42M revised budget

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2000

Natchez aldermen approved a revised budget Tuesday night that is about $20 million higher than the one adopted at the beginning of the fiscal year.

The jump accounts mainly for revenue from a bond sale for the downtown convention center and grants for bluff stabilization, said City Clerk Frances Trosclair. The bond sale alone accounted for $9.876 million.

&uot;I don’t want department heads to get too excited,&uot; Trosclair said at the board of aldermen meeting. &uot;Most of this is designated funds.&uot;

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The budget also includes a fund balance of $471,269 to carry into the next fiscal year.

&uot;In her effort to leave us fiscally sound, Mrs. Trosclair has again left a fund balance of nearly half a million dollars,&uot; Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown said.

Trosclair is retiring from office this year; her successor will take office in July.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

Heard an update on city legislation from City Attorney Walter Brown. The state Legislature has approved $8.5 million to buy rights-of-way to complete the Natchez Trace Parkway to Liberty Road; that complements $71 million Congress had previously approved for the completion of the parkway in Mississippi.

Still waiting for final approval from both houses are $6 million for a fine arts building at the Alcorn State University/Copiah-Lincoln Community College campus, and $10.5 million for an MBA complex on the Alcorn campus. Also, the city hopes to get $3.5 million to renovate the Duncan Park Golf Course. Brown said that legislation is still alive.

And legislation that would allow the state to pay for nighttime security at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center is waiting for Gov. Ronnie Musgrove’s approval, Brown said. The state can’t pay for the security now because it doesn’t own the building.

Mayor Brown said that amounts to more than $100 million either requested or approved for city-related projects. &uot;That money doesn’t come easily and it doesn’t come quickly,&uot; he said.

Heard from the mayor that the city has a good chance to get $205,000 in emergency grants for eight drainage projects through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. NRCS officials toured the sites after two strong storms in the last few weeks.