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Supervisors approve port budget in 3-2 split vote

 

By Gene Coleman

NATCHEZ — Adams County supervisors received an unexpected $12,000 bill during Monday’s regular meeting with notice of an insurance premium for the Natchez-Adams County Port Authority’s $6.7 million silos.

Anthony Hauer, port director, said the insurance covers the port’s silos, and that the insurance premium increased significantly.

David Carter, District 2 Adams County supervisor, said he was caught off guard by the request.

“I never knew a single thing about it,” Carter said. “I never knew we assumed sole responsibility of the silos.”

County Administrator Joe Murray said he believed the cost was too much.

Carter said it’s a cost the county has to pay.

“If something breaks it will be on this board to fix it,” Carter said.

Hauer said the three silos are storage bins for grains and other harvested crops that come through the port and are later shipped out.

He said it was the first time the insurance cost on the four-year-old silos was realized because an extended warranty on them only recently expired.

“It’s an encumbrance on the board, but it’s standard operating procedure because the facility is on county property. They were caught off guard,” Hauer said.

The port authority presented a budget of $2,143,000, and Hauer said it is a reduction of $286,000 from last year.

He said this year’s budget was based on the port’s August revenue of approximately $212,000.

The budget includes a 5-percent raise for port employees.

Angela Hutchins, District 3 supervisor, said she was OK with approving the port’s budget because port employees did not receive raises last year while county employees did.

The board voted 3-2 in favor of accepting the budget. Carter and Mike Lazarus voted against it.

“I can’t vote for a budget when their employees are getting raises and ours aren’t,” Lazarus said.

Murray said no funding was allocated toward the insurance in the county budget that was approved last month. Murray said the county would have to add the expense into the budget and find a source for funding it later this year.

In other action, during Monday’s regular meeting of the Adams County Board of Supervisors, the board:

4Was presented with bids for the Delta Energy Project; a railroad improvement of approximately 1 mile on the county’s industrial land at the former International Paper mill site. The bids were from CWW of Louisiana, $677,377; Queen City Railroad, Inc., $923,734.50; and Rail Works Track Systems, Inc., $602,809. The board took no action on the bids but took them under consideration.

4Discussed options for converting the justice court to a paperless system in order to expedite is processing of documents.

4Heard a report that an animal cruelty class will be held for law enforcement, animal control, humane investigators and the Humane Society of the United States , 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Adams County Safe Room, 323 Liberty Road.

4Heard a report about a health fair that will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 13, at the Natchez Mall.

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