County rethinking EDA funds

Published 12:20 am Friday, September 4, 2009

NATCHEZ — After voting to allocate $165,000 in funding to the Natchez-Adams Economic Development Authority, county supervisors discussed Thursday cutting that funding due to a math error.

Legislation mandates Adams County contribute 60 percent of the EDA’s yearly budget while the City of Natchez contributes the remaining 40 percent.

Adams County Board of Supervisors President Henry Watts said since the city board already voted to allocate $100,000 in funding the county was bound by legislation to contribute the remaining 60 percent, which equals $150,000.

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But at Monday’s meeting the county board actually allocated $165,000.

“It should have been $150,000 all along,” Supervisor Mike Lazarus said after the meeting.

And in previous years the EDA was actually receiving $175,000 from the county and $100,000 from the city.

“I really don’t know how it got that way,” Lazarus said.

And even after realizing the math glitch, the board took no corrective action Thursday.

Lazarus proposed a motion that would have rescinded Monday’s motion and allocated the correct amount of funding, but that motion was stopped by supervisor Darryl Grennell.

Lazarus said since Supervisor Thomas “Boo” Campbell was not at Thursday’s meeting, he and Grennell believed that supervisor S.E. “Spanky” Felter and Watts would have voted against corrective action, leaving only he and Grennell to vote for any funding at all.

“It would have been a two-two vote and the motion would have died,” Lazarus said.

EDA Board Chairman Woody Allen said he does not think the board’s plans to reduce funding to the EDA will have a negative impact on the origination.

“We’ll operate under any budget they allocate,” Allen said. “We’ll just have to plan accordingly.”

In other news the board also directed the county’s maintenance director Allen Jones to seek bids to determine how much it would cost to renovate the Adams County Justice Court.

Justice Court Judge Charlie Vess has been seeking a renovation of the building to expand the cramped courtroom for more than a year.

Vess, who has already sought quotes for the work, estimated the job would cost approximately $60,000.

The board also met in executive session, citing a personnel issue within the Adams County Civil Defense Office.