City, county leaders headed to Washington, D.C.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 6, 2016

NATCHEZ — City and county leaders will head to Washington, D.C., this week to meet with federal officials about local projects and issues affecting the area.

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell, Adams County Board of Supervisors President Mike Lazarus and Board of Supervisors Attorney Scott Slover will make the trip to meet with Sen. Thad Cochran, Sen. Roger Wicker, and Congressman Gregg Harper.

Grennell said while in Washington, the officials would meet with leaders about the Department of Justice’s recent announcement of its intention to end government reliance on private prisons and the affect on the Adams County Correctional Facility

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The facility is operated by Corrections Corporation of America, and the DOJ cited the May 2012 riot at the prison during which guard Catlin Carithers was killed as an incident that spurred the review of private prisons.

“We’re hoping that CCA can get contracts in the future, as it relates to the prison,” Grennell said.

The officials will also be talking about industrial prospects related to the railroad, Grennell said. Representatives from Natchez Railway Inc. will also be in attendance, Grennell said.

The City of Natchez partnered with Natchez Railway to receive an approximately $10.7 million grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER Discretionary Grant program. The railway is providing approximately $3.6 million in unrequired matching funds for the project, which will make improvements to the railroad line between Natchez and Brookhaven.

Also on the agenda for the trip are discussions about funding for an additional dock in Natchez, as well grants related to civil rights historical interpretation, Grennell said.