City prepares plan to fight West Nile

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; With memories of West Nile fresh in their minds, Natchez city officials are gearing up again for this year’s mosquito season.

Public Works Director Richard Burke told aldermen in their Tuesday meeting that, for the most part, he plans to place larvicide in places mosquitoes are likely to breed, such as standing water.

&uot;We like to do as little spraying (of mosquito adulticide) as possible because of the cost,&uot; Burke said.

Email newsletter signup

However, Burke also said he has already ordered some spraying equipment and mosquito traps to help with the effort. And he will attend a state-sponsored mosquito control workshop at the end of this month.

Earlier in the meeting, City Engineer David Gardner said he has received word that the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service has declared the effects of recent heavy rains an emergency.

That would allow Natchez to receive federal funds to repair earthslides and sinkholes caused by the rainfall.

However, the amount of money the city could get &045; and the amount it would have to put up as a match &045; depends on the number of projects that meet the NRCS emergency criteria, Gardner said.

The worst earthslides caused by recent rains included slides on Woodville Drive, near Oak Ridge Manor Apartments, and on the Mississippi River bluff, Gardner said.

Rainwater caused a major drainage canal on Canal Street to cave in &045;a problem Gardner is now seeking funds to repair.

As far as a sinkhole in front of the Natchez Post Office is concerned, &uot;maybe we could get federal money to help repair it, since it’s on federal property,&uot; said Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith.

Aldermen reappointed James Coleman to a five-year term on the Natchez-Adams County School Board. That board is now, among other things, working to hire a new school superintendent. Aldermen first appointed Coleman to the school board in October to fill the unexpired term of Camille Jackson, who resigned from the board earlier in 2002.

In other business, Tourism Director Walter Tipton told aldermen that he met recently with Smith and Michael Ferdinand to see how the city could use its tourism outreach efforts to also market itself to new industries.

Ferdinand directs the Natchez-Adams County Economic Development Authority.

As a result of those meetings, the Tipton’s office and the EDA will develop rack card advertisements for the Natchez Visitor Reception Center. The Convention and Visitors Bureau will also feature a link to the EDA on the CVB’s Web site.