County assigns funds: Supervisors begin budget appropriations

Published 12:07 am Friday, August 10, 2012

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors began the appropriations process of budgeting for fiscal year 2013 Thursday morning, agreeing to appropriate money to local health, welfare and arts organizations.

The supervisors also agreed to set aside $10,000 for the Miss-Lou Regional Steering Committee for the purpose of regional advertising on the Internet, in print and face-to-face marketing by local economic development representatives.

“If you went to our Natchez Inc. website right now, it is going to be focused on the Mississippi side of things; if you pull our data it might just have Adams and the contiguous counties,” Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said. “What this does for us and for Concordia Parish is it gives a better picture of the labor force and our marketing efforts.”

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The $10,000 request was for an earmark in the county budget rather than a direct appropriation, Russ said, and Concordia Parish’s government and Natchez Now will also be asked to donate money toward the steering committee’s efforts.

“In the event that Concordia Parish does not come through with their match, (the money) will not be requested of the board,” Russ said.

The supervisors also met with Ross McGehee, a representative of the Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District. The supervisors decided to table any decisions about appropriating budget funds to the soil and water because they had questions about what benefit the county receives from the Geographical Information Service, which operates under the conservation district.

The person who could answer those questions was out of town, McGehee said.

Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said the board had requested several months ago if GIS would create a map documenting every residence in the county so the board could develop a better method for collecting garbage fees.

“I could see the great benefits of GIS, but this board is trying to get a benefit, and we were hoping we could reach that benefit before the next fiscal year so we could develop that method for collecting garbage fees,” Grennell said.

The proposed map would document all garbage generating structures on a parcel of property, and the property owner would have to pay a special assessment each year based on the number of those garbage-generating structures on their land, County Administrator Joe Murray said.

But to do that, the county needs an accurate mapping of garbage-generating structures, he said.

“We are going to need good information, because if you are sticking a $200 assessment on someone’s (tax bill), you don’t want to use information that is two years old,” Murray said.

While the supervisors did not vote on each appropriation, Murray reviewed them with the supervisors, and they instructed him how much money to give to each request.

Appropriations that were granted in fiscal year 2012 and approved again for 2013 include:

•$119,263 to the Mississippi Department of Health

•$77,143 to Southwest Mississippi Mental Health

•$10,200 to the Adams County Department of Human Services

•$1,000 for funeral expenses for paupers.

•$11,112 to AJFC Community Action Agency.

•$44,438 to the Council on Aging, declining a requested increase to $49,853.

•$10,000 to the Boys and Girls Club

•$71,865 to Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District

•$25,000 to the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society, declining a requested increase to $27,000.

•$7,000 to the Adams County Red Cross, declining a requested increase to $8,000; in 2012 the Red Cross received $6,920.

•$5,000 to the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration.

•$2,500 to the Natchez Festival of Music.

•$2,500 to Natchez Little Theatre, declining a requested increase to $5,000.

•$165,000 to Natchez Inc.

•$2,750 to the Alcorn State Extension Service’s Farmer’s Market

•$1,000 to Natchez Downtown Development

•$193,980 to the Natchez-Adams County Airport, increasing from $183,980 in 2012. Murray said the increase was to account for the fact that the airport was now providing insurance for its employees.

New appropriations included:

•$5,000 to Catholic Charities’ Guardian Shelter, which did not make an appropriations request in 2012.

•$3,500 to Christmas in Natchez.

The supervisors will meet at 1:30 Monday afternoon to interview candidates for an information technology position, and following the interviews will again discuss the budget.