City seeking furniture, equipment

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2001

NATCHEZ – In a Tuesday night meeting, Natchez aldermen granted Tourism Director Walter Tipton permission to advertise for bids for furniture and equipment for the convention center.

In 1999, the city took out a $12 million loan from the Mississippi Development Bank to cover the convention center, community center and auditorium projects, with the bank issuing bonds to fund the loan.

According to city figures, a little more than $1.41 million will be left over after the convention center is built.

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That will go to pay for such things as furnishings, equipment, property acquisition, demolition and architectural and construction management costs.

The board also granted City Inspector Paul Dawes permission to advertise a request for qualifications for an energy performance contract.

Johnson Controls is now conducting a study to determine whether it could save the city money on its energy bills. But the city also wants to see if other energy management companies have better offers, Dawes said.

“But this in no way obligates the city to spend funds,” Dawes said.

Aldermen honored Trinity Episcopal’s football team for winning this year’s state championship. Mayor F.L. “Hank” Smith presented certificates to players, coaches and other associated with the team.

The board also passed a resolution officially setting the city’s property tax rate at 37.232 mills for the 2001-02 fiscal year, the same as the previous year.

Also in Tuesday’s meeting, the board:

4Voted to execute a contract with Pam Ferrington to temporarily serve as the city’s public defender for up to 90 days. The board also voted to appoint William Carl McGehee Jr. as assistant city prosecutor.

4Re-adopted a resolution to start eminent domain proceedings on three properties involved in the

Government Fleet Road project.

The properties were also included in a motion the board adopted Nov. 13 involving five properties, “but two of those have since been resolved,” said City Attorney Walter Brown.

4Authorized Smith to execute an agreement giving two easements to the Mississippi Department of Transportation for drainage work.

4Accepted Ora Frazier’s resignation from the Natchez Preservation Committee.

4Reappointed Jackie Williams to the Library Board.

In other business, Community Development Director James Johnston announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development had granted the city $300,000 to extend its Oak Towers program to summer 2003.

“But it’s not the three-year (grant) renewal we wanted, so we’ll have to compete with other cities” after the extension runs out, Johnston said.

And Natchez Downtown Development Association Director Tammi Mullins, announced winners of this year’s Christmas parade.

Winners received certificates and checks ranging from $100 for first place to $25 for an honorable mention.

Float category winners included Cathy’s Cowboy Corral, first place; Wendy’s, second place; Boy Scout Troop 158, third place; and Girl Scout Troop 660 and the Krewe of Alpheus, honorable mentions.

Non-float category winners were Hawks Lounge Riding Club, first place; and Too Hot to Trot Riding Club, second place.