Recreation plan to be on ballot

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 8, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Barring any further delays, a joint recreation proposal should be on the ballot in Natchez-Adams County in November, according to the latest timeline.

City Attorney Walter Brown presented the timeline, and the latest draft of an interlocal recreation agreement between the city, county and Natchez-Adams School Board, to the Adams County Board of Supervisors Monday.

The timeline shows the state Attorney General’s Office approving the agreement in May and a local Joint Recreation Advisory Commission submitting a preliminary plan in June to the city, county and school board for approval.

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The program would be submitted to the U.S. Justice Department in September for its approval.

If voters approved the plan in the Nov. 4 election, the agreement would be amended in mid-December to provide for permanent administration of the program.

Supervisors did not approve the interlocal agreement Monday. &uot;We need some more time to look over it,&uot; said supervisors Vice President Darryl Grennell, adding that the matter could be taken up in the board’s next meeting April 21.

However, there were only a few changes in the latest draft of the agreement &045; most notably, changing the name of the Joint Recreation Advisory Board to a commission at the request of the Attorney General’s Office.

The city is working to lease from the Park Service 68 acres north of Natchez High. Local officials have proposed recreation upgrades that include placing ballfields, walking trails and pavilions on that site, the &uot;beanfield.&uot;

With upgrades at Liberty and Duncan parks, cost estimates have run as high as $15 million, although those close to the project have said the project could instead be done in multiple phases.

In addition, supervisors approved applying for Natural Resource Conservation Service funds for erosion control work needed due to recent heavy rains.

The county is applying for for funds for projects on Cropp Lane, Sterling Road, North and South Sunflower, Johnson Circle and Lotus Drive and at two sites on Cemetery Road.

The projects would cost $305,000, and the county’s match would be $76,250, said county Road Manager Bobby Powell.