Supervisors discuss recreation plans

Published 12:29 am Wednesday, September 5, 2007

NATCHEZ — Chester Willis Field needs serious work, and the Adams County recreation council wants to have at least some of that work completed by Christmas.

The baseball field bleachers are first priority, said David Carter, county extension director and secretary-treasurer of the recreation council.

“From a safety standpoint, the bleachers need to be done first,” Carter said at Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting. “They can be kind of scary.”

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The boards that serve as seats are old and unstable, and the bleachers don’t have proper handrails, he said.

Carter said the council would like to see aluminum bleachers replace the wooden ones. If the process started in October, the field could have new seats by Christmas, he said. Some work is ongoing at the field now.

Other changes needed at the field are new bathrooms, renovation of the concession stand and year-round maintenance of the field and surrounding grass, he said.

“We’ve spent all this money on the (Natchez) Trace, and then you come off the trace, and this is the first thing you see,” he said.

Carter asked the board to appropriate roughly $90,000 through the counsel for the field’s renovation.

Supervisors President Darryl Grennell asked if the mayor’s recent proposal for a recreation complex would include a baseball field.

“I don’t see restoring a ballpark and then building a new one,” Grennell said.

Carter said he had talked with Mayor Phillip West, and the tentative plans did not address the ballpark.

“If (the field) is going to be there, it needs to be upgraded,” Carter said.

The board asked Carter to return at the next meeting with estimates as to what the entire project would cost.

After Carter’s presentation, West appeared and requested the board set up a meeting with the city board of aldermen to address the possibility of a recreation complex.

Grennell said he would talk with West and work to set up a meeting.

In other business:

4Supervisor Henry Watts suggested the board address the possibility of filming meetings for broadcast, similar to city meetings. Watts said the proposed $100 per hour cost was worth it to provide “a public service.”

4The board accepted bids for extending Lewis Drive to create another entrance for Susie B. West Primary School and took them under advisement.

4The board finished talking with department heads about proposed budgets last week but still has to discuss final numbers and approve the 2007-2008 fiscal year budget.

4The next regular board meeting will be Sept. 17.