County OKs moves to help get Morgantown Road project started, as well as helps fund security at community pool

Published 4:57 pm Monday, June 26, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors in a brief meeting on Monday afternoon made two moves designed to get work started as quickly as possible on improvements along Morgantown Road.

The project is broken into two phases. The first phase, which involves widening and improving the roadway, will actually be the second part of the process to begin. It is held up right now by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, which is in charge of the $2.4 million federal earmark that will fund the first phase of the project.

Phase two, which involves improving drainage along Morgantown Road, will begin before phase one. This project is being funded largely by a grant from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, as well as funds from the city and council.

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Unfortunately, when phase two of the project was bid earlier this spring, those bids came in more than $1.3 million more than anticipated and were automatically rejected, according to state law.

The county and city are splitting the funding of the project. The county is paying 60 percent of the funding because that is the portion of Morgantown Road that is in the county. The city is paying 40 percent of the project because that is the portion of the road that is within the city limits.

To accommodate the increased cost of the project, last week the city voted to shift $240,000 of the funds it has set aside for the construction portion of the project, known as phase 1, to phase two, the drainage portion, in order to get that project started. It also voted to seek loan funds of an additional $240,000, as long as the county does the same.

Lastly, the city voted to re-bid the second phase of the project, which came in more than 10 percent over the anticipated cost, as long as the county agrees.

On Monday afternoon, the county approved shifting $360,000 of its projected funding for phase one into phase 2. It also voted to re-bid the project.

However, because Supervisors Kevin Wilson and Angela Hutchins were unable to attend Monday’s meeting, supervisors put off a vote until its next meeting at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 3, on whether to approve the additional funding.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the supervisors voted to approve paying 50 percent of the cost of hiring Frederick Lane Security to provide security services at the community pool. The city’s board of aldermen approved the same at its last meeting.

Lastly, supervisors put off voting on hiring a consultant to help with the creation of the county’s fiscal year 2023-24 budget until its July 3 meeting because not all supervisors were in attendance.