City, county meet with Trace officials

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 5, 2000

City and county officials met Monday in Jackson with representatives of several state and federal agencies to discuss the progress of plans for the extension of Natchez Trace Parkway.

&uot;It was a meeting just looking at some preliminary plans,&uot; for the extension of the Natchez Trace Parkway into the Seargent&160;S. Prentiss Drive and Liberty Road area,&160;Marion Smith, Adams County board attorney, said.

City Engineer David Gardner said the meeting was a chance to update the various agencies on the roles they will play in the project.

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The city is acting as the acquisition agent for MDOT, using state and federal funds to purchase right-of-way for the Trace extension.

&uot;(It was) nothing earth-shattering, just a general discussion,&uot; Gardner said.

Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith did not attend the meeting because he is attending a conference of the National League of Cities in Boston this week.

Joining Attorney Smith in representing the county at the meeting were Supervisor Virginia Salmon and Road Manager Russell Dorris.

Dorris said the county learned at the meeting that they would soon be given figures detailing how much the county will be paid for properties located in the path of the extension.

County officials have already been told the county will lose two buildings to the Natchez Trace in the 300 block of Liberty Road. Those being displaced have been told they will have to be out of the property by June or July.

This will displace the Adams County Road Department, the Adams County Sanitation Department, the Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency

Supervisors are waiting to see how much money they will receive for the acquisition to put toward a new building for these agencies.

Preliminary plans are to locate the new building on county property next to Kroger grocery store on Seargent S. Prentiss Drive.

Gardner said Salmon brought up county concerns of traffic congestion at the fire station near the intersection of Liberty Road and Seargent S. Prentiss Drive.

While Salmon suggested relocating the connecting drive with the fire station, Gardner said relocating the station itself is also a possibility at this time.

City Attorney Walter Brown said the city is well ahead of schedule in acquiring right-of-way.

Though his son, Walt Brown, attended the meeting in his place, Brown said he was told MDOT and National Park Service officials were pleased with the city’s acquisition progress.

Nine of the more than 40 parcels of land needed for the Trace construction have been bought by the city and seven more will be sent to MDOT for approval this week, Brown said.