Natchez seeks to qualify for emergency NRCS funds

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Heavy rains last week may qualify the city for emergency funds to correct flooding problems from the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

While there is no official word from the NRCS yet, areas receiving more than four inches of rain in a 24-hour period normally qualify for emergency funds. Rain gauges collected more than five inches last Wednesday, said City Engineer David Gardner.

Gardner asked the Natchez Board of Aldermen at its meeting Tuesday to submit recommendations for drainage work to the engineering office in the event the NRCS does decide to award emergency funds.

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Some of the areas within the city mentioned by aldermen include Percy Street, near Government Fleet Road, Buckners Avenue and Wall Street.

Work is underway on eight separate drainage projects funded by the NRCS as a result of flooding in the spring.

In other business, the board:

Approved a change order to modify a contract with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for Phase 3 of the bluff stabilization project that will protect a historic gravesite recently discovered on the grounds of Rosalie.

Engineers place preliminary estimations for the modification at about $100,000. The city’s part — 25 percent — will come from a match already in place, Gardner said.

Added $13,370 to the claims docket for the first phase of the Christopher Chadbourne and Associates study of future riverfront and bluff developments.

Voted to amend the city map to rezone property owned by former Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown on South Canal Street from industrial to general business use.

Approved a change order and supplemental agreement for more than $13,000 worth of asphalt for grading, culvert installation and overlay of newly-paved roads surrounding the Spraygrounds site at North Natchez Park.

Amended a resolution with the National Park Service to increase the amount of money allotted to the city for right-of-way acquisition for the Natchez Trace Parkway extension from about $500,000 to $1.2 million.

City Attorney Walter Brown reminded the board that the city is acting as the acquisition agent for the state highway department and is using federal funds to purchase right-of-way, which they will then hand over to the park service for Trace extension.

Approved implementation of a recycling program for downtown, including the purchase of four recycling bins. The program is funded by a grant from the Department of Environmental Quality received in April.

Heard the report of James Johnston, Economic and Community Development coordinator, who asked the board members to begin considering projects for the 2001 Community Development Block Grant Public Facilities Program. Applications are due in February.

Approved a contract renewal with the Mississippi Department of Transportation for roadside mowing for the 2001 mowing season. Richard Burke, public works director, said the contract is a &uot;mirror image&uot; of last year’s contract.

Approved final close-out documents for an audio-visual contract at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center.

Set an appeal hearing for Nov. 28 to hear Bob Dean’s appeal of a recent Natchez Zoning Board of Adjustment decision to deny a variance for an 11-unit bed and breakfast at Ravennaside.

Approved a one-year lease renewal with Natchez VFW to locate their headquarters on Seargent S. Prentiss Drive. The agreement is a sublease from the National Park Service, which owns the land.

Received and took under advisement three bids for garbage collection. The city’s contract with Waste Management ends Nov. 30.