There’s too little manpower for job

Published 11:47 pm Saturday, October 13, 2007

We are always anxious to inform the public of how things are done at MDOT and when the opportunity presents itself, such as this one, we do so.

After the City of Natchez decided not to continue cutting the grass/medians for which it was reimbursed by MDOT, MDOT contracted the grass cutting. As you know, most all state agencies have had to scale back employees over the past few years and MDOT has been no exception. In that regard the MDOT Adams County Maintenance Crew has dropped from 12 to seven people while still taking care of the same level of maintenance issues on a daily basis, not including emergency situations on the highways that occur from time to time that must be handled immediately. So, to get some relief, MDOT contracted the grass cutting. The contractor does not, however, “curb” the medians, which is the removal of the grass that is overflowing the medians, over the concrete curb and creeping into the edge of the roadway.

This “curbing” process is done by the understaffed MDOT Adams County Maintenance Crew by hand by seven dedicated and hard-working maintenance employees and is in addition to their maintenance duties. As you can imagine, this is a time-consuming process. Therefore, it is only done once a year. A shovel is used to edge the curb, the grass is put into a loader bucket and the hauled off in a dump truck.

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We, at MDOT, especially those from Natchez, are fully aware of the economic component of tourism to our community and deeply appreciate the aesthetic value of keeping the grass cut and the curbs edged not only for beautification for our visitors but for ourselves as well. We regret that we cannot do the “curbing” in a faster manner at this time, but, hopefully, we can do so in the future. However, for the time being, we hope you will bear with us and understand our manpower situation.

Ours is certainly not a situation of not being aware, certainly not one of not caring and, more importantly, certainly not one of not realizing the importance of taking care of the little things. Rather, this is a situation of not enough time or manpower to do this “curbing” process on a more regular basis.

We appreciate this opportunity to respond to this situation. We welcome any chance to provide information to the community on issues involving MDOT.

Janet Sullivan

MDOT employee