Officials undecided about storm shelter

Published 12:15 am Wednesday, May 12, 2010

NATCHEZ — The four corners of a potential aboveground storm shelter have a lot of rough edges to be rounded.

Ironing out the details of whether or not the Natchez-Adams School District and the Adams County Board of Supervisors want to pursue the $3.25 million shelter together will fall on the agenda of the next school board meeting.

Board members from the school and the county met for informational purposes Tuesday, but no decisions about accepting a Mississippi Emergency Management Agency grant were made.

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Under the restrictions of the grant, the shelter must be on school property and must be available to become a Red Cross hurricane evacuation shelter if needed.

Beyond those requirements, the schools could use the building however they choose.

The county has proposed putting the building on land near the Steckler Multipurpose Building and Natchez High.

If the school district agrees to offer up the land, the project will be funded largely through federal and state dollars.

Five percent of the costs must be a local match — approximately $162,500 — of either money, land value or construction costs.

The county would coordinate construction and facilitate funding, but at completion the building maintenance and utilities would be the responsibility of the school district.