Annexation discussion no longer on Natchez agenda, but could still be discussed

Published 12:37 am Tuesday, August 14, 2018

NATCHEZ — A discussion of possible annexation litigation was removed from a revised draft of the agenda for the Finance Committee of Natchez Board of Aldermen meeting scheduled for 9:30 a.m. today, but the mayor said the matter could still come up for group discussion.

Mayor Darryl Grennell said the committee might explore the possibility of expanding city limits to include some businesses along U.S. 61. However, Grennell did not place a discussion of annexation on the agenda, he said.

“Potential annexation litigation” appeared on a rough draft of the agenda sent out late last week, but that item had been removed when a draft was redistributed Monday.

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Grennell said the first draft of the agenda distributed late last week was incorrect.

The board could still open a discussion of the topic during today’s meeting, Grennell said, regardless of it not being listed as an agenda item.

As of now, commercial properties that are just outside of city limits on U.S. 61 only pay state taxes while the city provides fire service for all of Adams County, Grennell said. Meanwhile, the city is in need of fire trucks that could cost between $800,000 to $1 million, he said.

“We’ve got to enhance our fire service,” Grennell said. “A negative fire rating could negatively impact the insurance rate for a five-mile radius outside city limits.”

Grennell said he believes increasing the perimeter of the city is something that should have already happened.

“This is something that should have happened years ago before I came into office,” Grennell said. “What I hope to see happen is an improvement in our fire rating. … We’re the only city in the state that provides fire service to the city and the surrounding county.”

The revised draft also added a request for permission to authorize the mayor to execute a performance contract with Schneider Electric to implement an energy reinvestment program.

Other items on today’s agenda include a presentation of internet and phone systems for the Convention Center and a discussion of city finances.

Discussion items listed for executive session include litigation, personnel, new hires and legal shield benefits proposal.