Aldermen OK transfers from gaming

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Aldermen approved the transfer of almost $40,000 from the city’s gaming fund Tuesday to make up for shortfalls in the city’s payroll and budgets of the recreation department and Natchez Senior Multi-Purpose Center.

In October, city officials said a hiring freeze and across-the-board budget cuts, which took effect earlier this month, would help curb the temptation of dipping into the gaming fund.

But a dwindling year-end general fund, delays in state funding and even bad weather have created gaps in funding.

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Two transfers, one for $30,000 and another for up to $300,000, are to the city’s general fund for November and December payrolls. City Clerk Donnie Holloway said the loan will be repaid with ad valorem taxes beginning in January.

Another transfer will supplement the recreation department’s budget, which relies on fees to offset costs. But recent cold and rainy weather has many people staying indoors, rather than playing on the Duncan Park Golf Course and using other city facilities, Ralph Tedder, recreation director, said.

&uot;We’re trying to cut back and make up for the shortfall from now on,&uot; he said.

Finally, the senior center will receive a budget boost from the gaming fund to continue services until funding from the Mississippi Department of Transportation arrives at the first of the year.

The state funding is already dedicated to the senior center and will be used to reimburse the city for the transfer when it arrives.

In other business, aldermen:

— Approved a proposal for a joint agreement naming James West and Fred Callon to the Natchez-Adams County Economic Development Authority.

Ward 4 Alderman Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West abstained from voting on the proposal because West is his younger brother.

— Presented the P.R.O.U.D. award to Joe Eidt III for being named the state winner of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association Heroes Award. Eidt received a $100 award from SGMA and $400 to donate to an athletic program of his choice.

He was also chosen as a top-10 candidate nationwide and is qualified as a national finalist.

— Heard the report of Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff who announced suspension of an officer for misuse of law enforcement property.

The 8-hour suspension is customary for officers who have an accident in a patrol car, Huff said.

Huff also reminded the board and those present that a new state law requiring that proof of liability auto insurance be carried in all vehicles goes into effect Jan.1, 2001.

— Heard the report of Walter Tipton, tourism director, who announced that his office received notice Tuesday that high-ranking officials with the U.S. Department of State will be visiting Natchez in January as they meet with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers on environmental issues.