Prison closer to getting water

Published 8:55 am Wednesday, May 2, 2007

With a private prison committed to Adams County, the next step boils down to providing water for the future facility.

Adams County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to allow Natchez Water Works to run a sewer line to the U.S. 84 site near Cranfield.

Natchez Water Works sewer service was vital to private corrections company, Corrections Corporation of America, locating in Adams County.

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A recently passed state law says both the county and city must approve allowing the waterworks to run sewer to a specific site in the county.

But the resolution the board passed at Tuesday’s meeting does more than that. By signing it, the board authorizes the planning district to apply for grants and loans.

That stuck in some supervisors’ throats at Tuesday’s meeting.

“Some of the possibilities for financial sources require matching funds,” Board President Darryl Grennell said. “Who will provide those matching funds?”

Attorney Walter Brown said the city and county governments, as well as the economic development authority and the private company, CCA, would combine funds to help match any loans.

“Hopefully, it will all be covered and there won’t be any matching funds needed,” Brown said. “If there are, with all involved, we will find matching funds.”

Grennell said since Natchez Water Works was the entity interesting in running the sewer lines, he hoped they would find most of the matching funds.

Brown said the project would probably require roughly $4 million. It was important that government entities serve as sponsors for the grants, he said.

“(As a private company), CCA can’t apply for it,” Brown said.

Supervisor Henry Watts said he always supported the prison, but that it was his understanding nothing would be asked from the county. And that’s what he’d been telling people.

“This is the first I’ve heard of this,” Watts said. “I’m a little disappointed because it’s making me look bad. The money issue has never been brought up before today.”

The resolution only allows the planning district to apply for loans. Before any grant or loan contract is signed, it has to be brought before the board for approval.

“This doesn’t obligate us to do a darn thing at this point,” Supervisor Sammy Cauthen said. “It just starts the process rolling.”

In other business:

4On a motion from Watts, the board voted to offer a reward to anyone who provides information to the sheriff’s office about anyone littering or speeding. The violators would have to be convicted and fined for the reward to be valid.

The board asked the board attorney to look into the legality of the situation before it went into affect.

4The board approved the necessary cultural and archeological survey to extend Government Fleet Road.