Belwood levee plan makes property presentable

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Roy Geoghegan knows it would take a special industrial prospect to make use of Adams County’s Belwood property in its current condition.

&uot;Somebody that doesn’t mind getting wet,&uot; said the planner with the Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District. &uot;That’s been the problem trying to market it with it flooding like it does.&uot;

The property, about 75 acres, is advantageously located next to the Mississippi River and the Natchez-Adams County Port.

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But the property tends to flood, prompting action from the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

&uot;What they’re looking at is applying for funding to possibly put a levee around the Belwood property, so it could be developed as industrial property,&uot; Geoghegan said.

To achieve that goal, the Adams County Board of Supervisors voted last week to pay $2,000 to Jordan, Kaiser & Sessions to develop plans for a levy.

The board then wants to apply for a grant through the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Association.

&uot;We’re just trying to get it presentable for a prospect,&uot; said Supervisor Thomas &uot;Boo&uot; Campbell.

Adams County and the Natchez-Adams County Economic and Community Development Authority bought the property for about $900,000 because of its tempting location.

&uot;It’s probably one of the last pieces of property on the river next to a port … from Baton Rouge to Memphis,&uot; said Adams County Supervisor Sammy Cauthen.

And at least one prospective company has told the supervisors &uot;they couldn’t utilize the property without a levee.&uot;

Cauthen said he hopes that company would still be interested if a levee was in place.

Geoghegan said he was not certain how much money would be needed for the project but said the maximum is either $1.25 or $1.5 million.

Local officials want to submit the grant application as soon as the initial engineering plans are complete. This will hopefully give Adams County a jump on the approval process.

&uot;This funding round starts October the first,&uot; Geoghegan said. &uot;We’re trying to have it to them before that.&uot;