County says no to ACSO Tahoes

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NATCHEZ — With a quarter of the fiscal year out of the way, the Adams County Board of Supervisors got down to budget business.

County Administrator Joe Murray schooled the newest members of the board at a specially called board meeting about the budget as he explained some reasons why some of the budgets were more than 25 percent depleted and others were barely spent.

Many of the overspent budgets, such as the 90-percent spent insurance budget for juvenile detention, could be explained because it was a one-time payment per year.

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“I don’t see anything that really alarms me,” Murray said.

District 1 Supervisor Mike Lazarus, however, pointed out that the county was spending too much on gasoline considering how early it was in the fiscal year, noting that gas prices could continue to increase.

The board also discussed Sheriff Chuck Mayfield’s request to finance nine new deputy cars.

Grennell made a motion to approve the purchase of the cars, and all but District 2 Supervisor David Carter voted yes, since Carter left the meeting early for a prior commitment.

Murray mentioned after the vote that Mayfield intended to buy Chevy Tahoes to replace the old patrol cars.

Grennell said plainly that the supervisors would not fund Tahoes, and they would not have to accept any bids for the sports utility vehicles.

“We want cheap ones,” Lazarus said.

District 3 Supervisor Angela Hutchins said that SUV gas mileage would likely be too expensive.

After the meeting, Mayfield said he was interested in getting Tahoes for the department because the SUV’s suspension can handle gravel and washed out roads that deputies often travel outside the city limits of Natchez.

He said Chevy makes a Tahoe especially for law enforcement, and departments around the country are starting to drive the SUVs.

“But working with the constraints of the budget, we’ll work with the supervisors,” Mayfield said.

He said he would like, at least if possible, to be able to get a Tahoe for the four shift supervisors, especially since they carry more equipment, and the Tahoes accommodate the load.

Mayfield said purchasing the Tahoes on a state-aid plan would not be much more expensive than sedans, and the gas mileage is not much more than sedans.

In other business at Monday’s meeting:

• The supervisors appointed District 5 Supervisor Calvin Butler to the board of directors for Southwest Mississippi Mental Heath and Rehabilitation.

• The supervisors appointed District 2 Supervisor David Carter to the board of directors to the Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development.

• The supervisors appointed Hutchins to the board of directors to the Southcentral Mississippi Works.

• The supervisors appointed David Carter as ex-officio member of the Natchez-Adams Recreation Commission, a position that will allow him to be the board’s liaison to the commission.