• 61°

Recreation public forum set for March

It is often necessary to take stock of progress.

Lately, I have talked to many people who have inquired as to the progress of the recreation project that was set forth Nov. 3, 2009 after a nearly 80 percent favorable vote for recreation.

For this reason, I offer the following points as a progress report.

• The people of Natchez and Adams County voted in favor of a non-binding referendum 78 percent to 22 percent.

4 Shortly after that, the three boards (board of supervisors, board of aldermen, school board) with a previously formed interlocal agreement appointed three members each to the nine-member Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission.

• Those members include Tate Hobdy, Ray Brown, Andrew Calvit, Bubba Kaiser, David New Jr., Willie Woods, Cleveland Moore, Michael Blain and myself.

• The NACRC worked with the Natchez Trace Parkway to get a 60-day rescission clause removed from the current lease that the City of Natchez has on the property known as the “bean field.” The Natchez Trace Parkway is very much in favor of this project and has been very supportive.

• The NACRC has met with other recreation departments to learn from them so that we can capitalize on their successes and avoid their mistakes.

• The NACRC secured $11,000 from each of the appointing boards to use in the planning of the new recreation facility.

• The NACRC hired Lose & Associates, a firm who not only had the best price, but also specializes in the design of recreation facilities.

• The NACRC has been working with Lose & Associates to design the best possible recreation complex within the proposed budget.

• The NACRC has chosen a mission, goals and objectives and core values that will help guide the commission in future decisions.

So what happens next? At this point we are working on organizational structures, payment options and finalized concept drawings.

As outlined in the interlocal agreement, we are planning on hosting a public forum Tuesday, March 15 so that interested people can see the conceptual drawings and meet our landscape architect.

This will allow people the opportunity to voice their opinion and concerns before the plan is finalized and presented the authorities of the county, city and school board.

More information about the public forum will be advertised soon.

After the public forum, we will take recommendations into consideration and make any changes that are necessary.

Finally, we will make our presentation to the appointing boards.

We greatly appreciate the support from the public as well as the support of the board of supervisors, the board of aldermen and the Natchez-Adams County School Board.

We have made it a point to move forward thoughtfully and methodically so that we can provide the best possible facility and program that we can.

Thank you for your patience and support, on behalf of the Natchez Adams County Recreation Commission members.

David Carter is a member of the Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission.