Supervisors to discuss road and recreation bonds during Wednesday meeting

Published 9:20 am Tuesday, August 2, 2022

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NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors is planning to map out their planned uses for two multi-million-dollar road and recreation bonds during a special called meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3.

The supervisors plan to borrow up to $7.5 million for road improvements and up to $5 million for digitizing records as well as parks and community center improvements.

However, the project wish list for both bonds has not yet been finalized.

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To adopt a bond resolution, the board must first have “a list of what we intend to do with this money,” Attorney Scott Slover said.

For the road improvements, supervisors asked the road manager Robbie Dollar to present at Wednesday’s meeting a list of roads that have gone the longest without work done where it is most needed—based on his department’s four-year road work schedule.

Gaines said supervisors could then “tweak the list” after discussing it as a group.

Supervisors have also discussed using a second bond for updating the Chester-Willis baseball field; the Wayne Johnson Arena, used for the annual sheriff’s rodeo, on Foster Mound Road; as well as improvements to county parks and the Lagrange and Providence community centers.

There is a question of whether or not any of the bond funds will be used for updating softball fields near Natchez High School, which Supervisor Ricky Gray said are owned by the Natchez Adams School District and should therefore be the school district’s responsibility.

Supervisor Warren Gaines said the best way of piecing the final list together is by having a special meeting. Supervisor Kevin Wilson was absent during Monday’s regular meeting and so the board agreed to recess the meeting until Wednesday.

“I think we should all sit at the table. That way everyone knows what is going on from the door,” Gaines said.

In other matters during Monday’s meeting of the Adams County Board of Supervisors, Gaines said $34,000 worth of Project NOLA crime cameras had been purchased.

Major Frank Smith said the funds will get them 26 cameras, some stationary and some pan-tilt-zoom, to spread to areas throughout the county where they are most needed.

These cameras may either tap into a homeowner’s or business’ wifi to operate with 24-7 live monitoring from New Orleans provided by the non-profit Project NOLA.

“We’ve reached out to the vast majority of the places we’re looking at putting them and they’ve agreed to assist us in getting these up,” Smith said. “These cameras are very helpful to law enforcement in both the city and the county.”

The City of Natchez began an effort to install the cameras in 2018 and now has approximately 60 cameras installed within city limits.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said he is grateful that the supervisors support extending the cameras’ reach into the criminal hotbeds of the county.

The cameras have been installed in cities everywhere in the state, but Adams County will soon be one of few counties in the state to have them outside of city limits, he said.

Supervisors also authorized an emergency purchase of five vehicles for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office for $41,521 each. The vehicles are all four-by-four Dodge Ram 1500s.

Patten said his department currently has a vehicle shortage with 46 in the fleet and new deputies getting ready to graduate and join the ranks.

Officials said they advertised for bids on the vehicles but only one bid had been received.

With a vehicle shortage the nation is experiencing, Purchasing Clerk Chike Martin said the risk the county would have with rebidding the vehicles is there is a chance they wouldn’t be available at all.

Martin said she contacted dealers that the county would normally purchase with under state contract but none had those specific vehicles available.