• 50°

Kaiser says county’s hiring out-of-area engineering firm completely unexpected

Hayden Kaiser III, principal at Jordan Kaiser & Sessions, said he was caught completely off guard when the Adams County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 3 to 2 to contract with an out-of–area firm for the county’s engineering services.

The county had contracted with locally owned and operated Jordan Kaiser & Sessions for more than four decades until supervisors Angela Hutchins, Rickey Gray and Warren Gaines voted to hire IMS Engineers, a firm that has offices in large cities around the country, but none in Natchez.

Supervisors Kevin Wilson and Wes Middleton voted against the change.

“To my knowledge, no one said anything to us about being dissatisfied with our work. No one told us beforehand that they weren’t going to hire us,” Kaiser said.

“I am completely disappointed. My dad started this firm more than 60 years ago. He died in April. We are good citizens. We are good members of the business community. We turn out really good work. What I am most disappointed in is that this move says that our leadership doesn’t trust us,” he said.

For the last two years, the county and Jordan Kaiser & Sessions have worked together without a contract. Kaiser said business with the county amounts to about 20 percent of his firm’s revenue.

“The past two years, the county has paid us $250,000 per year. That’s a pretty big blow to our revenue,” he said. “I’ve always heard that a dollar spent in the local economy turns over seven times. Multiply that revenue by seven. That’s the hit to our local economy. That’s the money our local economy will now miss out on. The money they will pay this new firm will head straight out of town.”

Wilson said he was caught off guard by the issue of choosing a new engineering firm. However, he said a representative from the company was in the audience at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I don’t know where this came from. And I voted against it because we don’t have any details about this other firm,” Wilson said.

He also said he heard no discussion or received any information about what the county will pay IMS for engineering services.

Kaiser said he will try not to lay off any of his employees, but it will be difficult to continue at the firm’s current staffing while losing the county’s business.

“I have 18 people on my payroll. Those 18 people live in our community. I can’t get support from that from our county?” Kaiser asked. “If we had done something terribly wrong, I would understand this 100 percent, but that’s not what happened. We have turned out great work as engineers and surveyors. I don’t want to let anyone go, but that’s almost 20 percent of our revenue. This is like getting the carpet pulled out from under us.”

Kaiser said his firm is a viable part of the Natchez business community, and will continue to be.

“We aren’t going anywhere. We are a good engineering company. We have engineers and surveyors with impeccable records. I think most people in the community respect us. It really hurts my soul to know our county leadership does not.”

News

Law officials arrest 3 in connection with automobile burglaries

News

Master Gardners host spring plant sale at Co-Lin

News

Security officer enjoys building relationships with students

Business

Jobs everywhere but few workers to fill them

Business

Natchez artist opens mobile-making studio amid pandemic

News

Concordia Parish jury finds Clayton man guilty in killing of his wife, 12-year-old boy

News

International investors from India visit Natchez on economic development trip

News

Donations of items needed for 3rd Gayrage Sale

News

City approves final lease for historic train depot on Broadway Street

News

Lt. Gov. Hosemann addresses American Rescue funds in Natchez, Adams County

Business

Hosemann won’t close door to Medicaid expansion in Mississippi

News

Natchez Euro Fest moved to Sunday due to weather

News

Local resident takes photo of lightning strike behind Mississippi River bridges

News

Firefighters work house fire on Rankin Street Tuesday night

News

ACCS Drama Club to perform Aladdin Saturday

News

CPSB names candidates for Superintendent of parish schools

News

Police investigating shooting on Bishop Street

News

Thomas named STAR Student at NHS, chooses Coach Haywood as STAR Teacher

News

Library closes for renovations

News

Adams County man arrested for alleged sex crime with juvenile

News

Master Gardener plant sale April 17 at Co-Lin

News

Harriss keeps active

News

Cemetery restoration workshop comes to Natchez Wednesday

News

CPSB reviewing applicants for new superintendent of schools