County OKs bonds for federal courthouse

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2001

Adams County supervisors voted Monday to issue urban renewal bonds in conjunction with the City of Natchez to help fund construction of a federal courthouse.

&uot;Up to $1 million (in bonds) could be issued,&uot; Board Attorney Marion Smith said after supervisors held an executive session on the matter. The Natchez Board of Aldermen is expected to consider a similar resolution today.

Local officials have been trying to lure a federal courthouse to Natchez since 1999, when they successfully lobbied Congress to pass a bill allowing Judge David Bramlette to request federal funding.

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Officials of the General Services Administration and the U.S. Marshal Service have toured possible sites for the courthouse, including the city-owned Memorial Hall.

According to another vote by the board, a company that has located three cellular towers in Adams County and is now seeking permits for those towers must first get approval from agencies that own adjacent land.

Communisite built the towers – which have not been approved by Adams County – when a moratorium existed against their construction. The towers are located at U.S. 61 South at Sibley, in Leesdale and in Fenwick off U.S. 84.

A recently passed ordinance requires a tower to be located twice the distance of its height from the adjacent property lines. None of the sites meet that requirement, said Spencer G. Stutzman III, who is processing cellular tower applications for the board.

So the board voted to require the company to get variances from the State Department of Transportation and Illinois Central Railroad before supervisors consider the permits.

&uot;I would recommend that (Communisite) not be given a variance&uot; for the Sibley site because if that tower fell, it would completely block two lanes of U.S. 61 South, Stutzman said.

Smith also recommended that the company get approval from owners of other parcels adjacent to the site.