City pushes on

Published 12:06 am Sunday, November 4, 2007

NATCHEZ — The city will go forward with the mayor’s recreation plan even without the help of the county, Mayor Phillip West said.

Adams County Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said the board of supervisors had agreed not to contribute any money toward a consultant.

“What the county board wants from the city is to know what the plan is and how much it’s going to cost,” Grennell said. “But we’re not willing to put up any consult money at all.”

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In August, West presented a proposal, which the aldermen approved, to spend an estimated $15 million on a comprehensive recreational facility.

The first step would be to spend up to $100,000 to hire a consulting firm to develop plans.

At the time of the proposal, several aldermen expressed interest in splitting evenly the cost of both the consulting fee and the project cost with the county.

The county and city boards met in September and agreed they both wanted recreation, but no firm decisions were made.

After discussing the topic, Grennell said, the county board wanted more specifics.

“We just want to know how much the recreation plan would cost the county,” he said.

Grennell said the county had not ruled out contributing to any future recreation project itself.

“If (the city) can present us with hardcore numbers of what it will cost and what the plan is, at that point, the county will consider it,” he said.

West said he had not received any formal notification from the county, but the city would proceed with the project with or without the county’s participation.

West said he had spoken with several groups interested in serving as consultants, but nothing was official.

A committee, including residents with strong recreation interests, would look through those groups interested, choose one and make a recommendation to the board of aldermen, West said.

After that, the consultant will get community feedback.

The consulting cost won’t necessarily be $100,000, West said.

“It depends on the scope of the work and what terms the firm would bring to the table to help determine what the amount would be,” he said.

The city would welcome county contributions to the project itself as well, West said.

“I would think as we move forward, the county would find the only responsible thing would be to be a part of it,” he said.