Natchez gets grant funds for drainage

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Outgoing Natchez Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown is having a pretty good week.

On Wednesday, he found out the city will get about $300,000 in grant money from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to fund drainage projects throughout the city.

Natchez officials had applied for the grants, administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, after a heavy April rain dumped about 5 inches of rain over the city, causing drainage problems and flooding throughout town.

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&uot;We’ve had a good week,&uot; said Brown, whose last day in office is today.

Mayor-Elect F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith will be sworn into office at 10 a.m. Friday.

The projects funded by the NRCS’ emergency watershed protection grants are located at:

— Texas Street

— Monette Street

— 116 Melrose Ave.

— other sites on Melrose Avenue

— Ratcliffe Street

— Espero Drive

— Mansfield Drive

— Pecanwood lift station

To qualify for NRCS&160;grants for drainage projects, a city has to get more than 4 inches of rain in a 24-hour period.

In anticipation of receiving the grant funding, the city has already done much of the design and engineering work for the drainage projects, Brown said. The board of aldermen will contract out the rest of the work on the projects.

Over the last eight years, the city has received more than $14 million in federal grants for soil conservation projects. Among the largest projects were the $1.4 million Silver Street retaining wall and the $5.4 million Learned’s Mill Road stabilization.

In addition to Wednesday’s grant news, Brown has also been tying up other loose ends this week. Monday he met with officials from a casino development interested in building at the base of Roth Hill Road at Natchez Under-the-Hill.

Although there are no contracts, &uot;it’s a done deal,&uot; Brown said of the project.

And on Tuesday, Brown and other city officials toured Memorial Hall, the site of a proposed federal courthouse, with federal architects.