City still seeks more money from county

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 14, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; The city still wants more money.

Aldermen on Tuesday reiterated their call for Adams County government to contribute more funds toward such things street improvements.

Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis pointed out that city residents also live in the county, pay taxes twice and deserve their share of county funds just like residents of unincorporated areas.

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&uot;The county needs to pay its share of these roads,&uot; Alderman James &uot;Rickey&uot; Gray said.

Aldermen also said the county needs to pay its share for in-city recreation, noting that the $50,000 a year the county now puts up goes for recreation outside the city limits.

They especially called on the county to help pay for a swimming pool to serve the whole county.

Recreation officials have said it will take $1.4 million to build an Olympic-size pool suitable for a swimming meet, a figure some aldermen disputed as too high.

Earlier in the meeting Ronnie Ivey, director of operations for the city’s Public Works Department, told aldermen the operators of at least two tour buses have said they won’t return to Natchez unless oak trees along some downtown streets are cut.

That’s because their buses, which are more than 12 feet tall, are too tall to drive under some branches &045; causing a bus, in one case, to back up an entire block to turn around.

&uot;We need to trim the trees at least 15 feet from street level,&uot; Ivey said. &uot;We’re not going to butcher them, just trim them back.&uot;

In a separate matter, Traffic Division Director Rick Freeman said city crews will soon begin cutting or, in extreme cases, removing trees and shrubs that obscure stop signs or block driver’s views of oncoming traffic, creating a safety hazard.

While the trees and shrubs in question are on city rights-of-way, the owners of adjacent properties will be notified prior to the trimming or removal, Freeman said.

In other business:

4City Planner Andrew Smith notified Arceneaux-Mathis his office will photograph the Marblestone Alley area in order to document that area’s needs, such as housing blight and infrastructure development, and apply for any available funding to address such problems.

&uot;It’s similar to what the city did in 1973 with part of St. Catherine Street,&uot; Smith said.

Arceneaux-Mathis said she also wants the area’s congressmen and senators to visit the Marblestone area to see its needs firsthand.

4Aldermen voted to allow a family member of the owner of a dilapidated property on Marks Drive 30 more days to clean up her property, even though officials said the city has already given the owners about three years to do so.

4City officials honored Grace United Methodist Church’s Child Development Center for workers’ quick response to save a 15-month-old girl with a life-threatening allergic response to peanuts. &uot;Thank you for caring for and providing a safe environment for the children of this community,&uot; Mayor Phillip West said.

4City officials honored Natchez Ford-Lincoln-Mercury as the city’s Business of the Month, citing its community participation since its inception in 1991.

4Aldermen gave Senior Center Director Sabrena Bartley permission to apply for four National Service Corps grants.

4The board approved $70,250 in change orders for the Wood Avenue fire station. That station was relocated from Liberty Road due to the planned construction of a new Seargent S. Prentiss Drive overpass.