Mayor, aldermen make quick work of special meeting

Published 11:39 am Thursday, February 2, 2023

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NATCHEZ — In an unusually brief special meeting Thursday morning — 17 minutes — the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen made swift work of some city business.

During the meeting, aldermen:

• approved travel for Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson to attend the retirement ceremony of French Ambassador Philippe Etienne in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 8 and 9. Etienne, who was Gibson’s guest in the city last summer, invited Gibson to attend.

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• moved forward with allowing the city’s staff to take the next steps in hiring engineering services for the Silver Street Drainage Project. Gibson explained the special meeting was called because the city has a deadline to meet with the project.

Gibson appointed a committee including himself, Alderwoman Valencia Hall, who represents Ward 1 where the project is located, City Development Director James Johnston, Public Works Director Justin Dollar, Richard Burke, who assists the mayor, along with legal counsel from city attorney Bryan Callaway.

• The board also grant funds to convert the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot on the Natchez Bluff into a satellite visitors’ center, complete with public restrooms.

Both projects discussed on Thursday morning are likely to span multiple budget years to complete, Gibson said.