County talks trash

Published 12:11 am Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NATCHEZ — While Adams County has been working to promote regionalism with Concordia Parish, the board of supervisors suggested a new plan at their meeting Monday morning that would have the county and the City of Natchez working together to take out the trash.

The board voted Monday to talk with city engineer and Natchez Water Works superintendent David Gardner about combining Natchez’s and Adams County’s garbage pick up service to save money for both the county and city.

Board President Darryl Grennell said merging city and county numbers for trash pickup would create a bigger area with more people, which could possibly allow a discount in pick-up charges.

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“The rationale there is to allow both the city and the county to combine their requests for bids to see if we could join together in terms of collection in hopes that it would drive down the cost for pick-up service,” he said. “Basically we are trying to combine to see if we can come out of this spending less money.”

Grennell said the county and the city would each be responsible for their own costs.

Supervisor Henry Watts said the county would be adding approximately 5,300 trash pick-up stops to the current amount in Natchez.

Gardner said the city of Natchez currently has approximately 7,400 garbage collection sites.

Supervisor S.E. “Spanky” Felter brought the idea to the board’s attention after he had previously mentioned that the board should also try and consolidate the county’s sanitation collection department with Natchez Water Works.

Grennell said the county’s sanitation department only has one employee.

“It is very difficult for her to take lunch breaks and to take days off and things like that,” he said.

Felter had originally suggested that the employee be moved into the tax collector’s office, but that plan was abandoned because there was not enough space to house the employee.

Felter later suggested the board talk with Natchez Water Works to see if the sanitation worker could work out of that office, and the board voted to approve that request along with the garbage collection consolidation.

In other news:

• The board voted to give approval to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office to bypass the bid process and purchase new radio equipment for the office.

Grennell said the sheriff’s office had a time limit to use the grant they received to purchase the radios, and that they needed to be able to purchase the equipment quickly.

Since the purchase was more than $30,000, county law says it has to be bid out, but the board voted to temporarily disband that policy for the one time purchase.

• The board voted to sponsor a grant request from Adams County Emergency Management Director Stan Owens for more fire protection equipment.

Owens said the $120,000 grant will be used to purchase new gear and communication equipment at the Liberty Road and Kingston fire stations.

Owens also said the grant is a 5 percent match cost grant, meaning that the county will only have to come up with $6,000 to get the equipment.

• The board also asked Owens about the current drought situation in the county, and its effects on the upcoming Fourth of July festivities.

Owens said that if the county does not get some rain by Thursday, he intends on issuing a burn ban in the county.

“It is very, very dry and the conditions are serious,” he said. “Fireworks are extremely dangerous, because we are at the point where simply flicking a cigarette out the window could start a fire now.”

• The board also voted to approve new County Administrator Joe Murray as the replacement to former County Administrator Charlie Brown on the county’s E-911 board.

• Watts asked the board to remember to present the county’s blogging resolution at the Mississippi Association of Supervisors meeting in Biloxi.

Watts and the board had previously met to come up with a plan that would stop anonymous bloggers from leaving posts online by requiring that their name and the city where they are located be on every comment or blog they have online.

“People go online and say something about everyone on there, and they can’t defend themselves,” Watts said.

Felter said the anonymity associated with online blogging is a big problem that needs to be addressed.

“If they have to put their name on it, they will stop doing what they are doing,” he said.

• The board heard an update from Allen Laird with the Southwest Mississppi Planning and Development District about the progress of a grant for an air conditioner unit for the Armstrong Library.

Laird said the district will be opening contractor bids for the air conditioner project on July 15, and that the project will be paid for with a $148,000 no-match grant.

Grennell said the board has been working on this project for more than six months, and he hopes the library gets better air as soon as possible.

“They need some air and climate control in the library,” he said. “Especially with how hot it has been.”

Grennell said the board will meet July 18 to hear the district’s bid recommendation and vote on the contract.