City under governor’s orders

Published 11:38 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2020

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The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez is currently operating under Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves’ latest COVID-19 executive order 1492 that went into effect Monday.

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The latest order from Reeves further relaxes many regulations that had prevented some businesses and public amenities from reopening.

The Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen attempted to hold a special-called meeting to consider formally adopting Reeves’ latest order during and in conjunction with the Natchez COVID-19 Task Force meeting Monday morning.

Alderman, however, failed to reach a quorum.

Aldermen in attendance on the COVID-19 Task Force video conference call Monday were Sarah Carter-Smith, Ben Davis, Felicia Bridgewater Irving and Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis, but the aldermen were never all on the call at the same time, so the board could not act on any proposals.

At the end of the task force meeting, however, Carter-Smith questioned City Attorney Bob Latham about whether the city had to act to adopt the measure since the city is already under jurisdiction of the state.

Latham said the city is already under the state’s order.

Earlier in the day, the Adams County Board of Supervisors had met and agreed to adopt Reeves’ 1492 order with the exception of adopting the curfew and opening basketball courts.

Adams County’s basketball courts remain closed and the county’s curfew will remain in place at least until June 15 after supervisors unanimously passed motions to that effect during a Monday’s meeting.

The curfew is in place between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. but excludes those who are patronizing or working at businesses that are operating lawfully beyond the curfew hours, officials said.

During the Natchez meeting Carter-Smith also asked Latham if the city would also be under the guidelines adopted by Adams County and Latham said yes, so the city is also keeping the current Adams County curfew in place and will not reopen basketball courts.

Adams County Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford made the request to keep basketball courts closed and the curfew in place during Monday’s supervisor’s meeting.

Also on Monday, supervisors agreed to reopen some of the county’s public rental spaces.

The Adams County Safe Room, however, will remain closed to the public as an event space so that it can be used for emergency purposes during hurricane season and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other community centers at Kingston and Providence could reopen to be rented as event spaces with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regulations in place, Bradford said.