Aldermen agree to consider roundabout at John Quitman Parkway and Auburn Avenue

Published 2:44 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2023

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NATCHEZ — James Johnston, community development director for the City of Natchez, told the mayor and aldermen on Tuesday morning that officials at MDOT want to discuss with them installing a roundabout at the intersection of John Quitman Parkway and Auburn Avenue.

Johnston said funds might be available to help defray the construction of a roundabout at that intersection.

He indicated the intersection has been the scene of a high number of traffic crashes.

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“Staff participated in a conference call with MDOT. A traffic study was done on Sept. 28 and the count was not sufficient to install a signal stop or a four-way stop,” Johnson said. MDOT did suggest a roundabout there to help slow the traffic down at the intersection.

“Staff is trying to engage the pulse of the board in its interest in a roundabout,” he said.

Johnson was questioned about the live oak trees in the area and whether they would be disturbed by the construction of a roundabout.

“From preliminary discussion, I think it can go within existing right of way,” and not displace the trees,” Johnston said.

“You would not be committing to the roundabout,” he said. “Just saying you are willing to hear the pros and cons.”

Aldermen approved moving forward with the preliminary discussions about a roundabout.

In other action in what was an unusually brief regular meeting of the mayor and board of aldermen:

• rescinded a contract with Thompson Tree and Spraying for demolishing five or six properties that had been adjudicated earlier in the fall by aldermen because the property owners may not have been properly notified of the action.

• approved paying a deposit to Dozier Inc., contractor, who is handling the purchase and installation of columbarium to be installed in the Natchez City Cemetery. A columbarium is a place for the interment of cremated remains of people.

• approved a contract for $699,317 with Smith Painting and Contracting for phase 1 of the renovation of the Natchez Convention Center. Smith Painting was the lone bidder on the project. Work should begin in the middle of December or the first of next year. The entire cost of the convention center renovation is expected to be approximately $3 million.

• approved the base bid of $299,490 from Hope Enterprises for renovations to the Natchez Civic Center.

• heard from Parks and Recreation Director Ryan Porter that the city’s Parade of Parks continues on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Jack Waite Park.

• heard from Porter that the city’s annual Pajama Jam is Dec. 15 at the Natchez Civic Center. He said parents are encouraged to visit the city parks website to register their children soon. The address is On the landing page, click on the blue Activity Sign Up and Facility Reservation button. Create an account and register for activities.

Porter also said signup will begin within the next two weeks for the city’s new league baseball program for those ages 3 through 12. The baseball league will take place at Duncan Park and it will be a USSSA-sanctioned city league.

• heard Ward 2 Alderman Billie Joe Frazier thank his fellow aldermen for the new LED lights being installed in the city. He said he has heard good feedback from residents of his ward.

Mayor Dan Gibson said Entergy had installed about 500 new LED lights at the end of February and has between 200 and 300 to go to complete the project.

• appointed attorney Lisa Chandler to replace Tim Cotton as city prosecutor. Cotton was recently elected Sixth District Prosecuting Attorney.

• heard from Ward 4 Alderwoman Felicia Bridgewater-Irving that the Mississippi Food Network Mobile Pantry will be at the Macedonia Baptist Church beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 17.