Aldermen face lengthy agenda at tonight’s special city meeting beginning at 5 p.m.

Published 4:12 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2023

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen will gather today — Tuesday — in a special meeting, the city’s only meeting this month.

It begins at 5 p.m. at 115 S. Pearl St. in the Council Chamber across from city hall.

The meeting will include a public hearing on a new, proposed noise ordinance for the city at 6 p.m.

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Perhaps the most substantive action at the meeting will be the discussion of hiring a new city attorney, which will come near the end of the meeting during the report portion given by Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson. Gibson will be asking aldermen to have that discussion in an executive session, meaning one closed to the public.

City Attorney Bryan Callaway has resigned and will go to work for Sixth District Circuit Court Judge Debra Blackwell on Jan. 1, 2024.

The agenda for tonight’s meeting aggressive. It includes:

• Welcoming visitor Russ Bryan with Neel-Schaffer Inc., who will discuss the project known as Transforming the Forks to Freedom Corridor for Safe and Equitable Mobility 2024 and the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) from the US Department of Transportation.

• city department heads who will give reports, including Sabrena Bartley representing the Natchez Transit System & Natchez Senior Center.

For the Natchez Senior Center, Bartley will discuss repairs and improvements being made at the senior center to basement walls, swimming pool area, and exterior retaining wall surfaces. Anticipated completion is Jan. 31, 2024. The senior center will begin offering space for small meetings (50 persons or less). Any funds derived from the rentals will be used to assist senior citizens with necessities such as food and

transportation. The senior center is creating an exercise space for all persons aged 55 or older. Bartley is requesting authorization to apply to the Mississippi Department of Transportation for 5310 Elderly and Persons with Disabilities grant funds for 2024-2025 and that the Mayor, City Attorney, City Clerk, and Executive Director be allowed to sign necessary documents related to the proposal.

For the Natchez Transit Regional Center, Bartley will update the mayor and aldermen on upgrading its technology on the vehicles and in the call

center. MDOT approved the funding Natchez Transit Regional Center will

partner with the Southwest Mississippi Regional Accessible Transportation

(SMART) coordinated group and the Mississippi Public Transit Association to

offer accessible services from the facility beginning Jan. 1, 2024. She is requesting authorization to apply to the Mississippi Department of Transportation for 5311 Rural Areas Transportation grant funds for 2024-2025 and that the Mayor, City Attorney, City Clerk, and Executive Director be allowed to sign necessary documents

related to the proposal.

• City Public Works Director Justin Dollar will ask for an addendum contract for the 2024 Natchez Downtown Microseal Project. He will also ask for approval for a future purchase of a Skid Steer and Backhoe, pending bids that were received on Monday.

• James Johnston, Community Development director, will provide the mayor and aldermen information on the Solid Waste Assistance Grant; will ask for a motion to approved a grant award totaling $25,000 from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to identify illegal dump sites in the city; will discuss the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot preservation and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History; will ask for a motion to allocate up to $75,000 from the North Natchez Drainage Project and to allow staff to work with the city’s consulting architect to receive quote bids for the site prep and installation of pavers at the Depot.

Johnson will also discuss with the mayor and aldermen the Auburn Canteen preservation; 2022 Capital Improvements GOB by asking for a motion to approve a change order, reducing the contractor’s contract from $90,900 to $85,900; discussion about the Turtle Lane Drainage Improvement Project; will discuss changes to the MDEZ Mississippi Municipality and County Water Infrastructure Grant Program; will ask to enter into an independent contract employment agreement with Tina Montagnet to continue to serve as the city’s recycling outreach liaison.

Johnston will also discuss the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the City of Natchez, Adams County Board of Supervisors, City of Vidalia, Envisage Research and Analytics and Project NOLA in terms of data sharing and transfer between project parties.

• Chief Cal Green will discuss the police department’s FY24 Law Enforcement Grant Program and will ask the mayor and aldermen to approve a grant award for $100,000 with no match required from the Mississippi Office of Highway and Safety for meeting several criteria involving child restrains and seat belt use.

• City Attorney Bryan Callaway City will present the final signed temporary waste disposal agreement into the minutes; will discuss the attorney general’s response to an opinion request; will ask for approval of the acquisition of property for Revels Plaza Park; ask for approval to continue negotiations on property owner agreements involving the Silver Street renovation project; will discuss an agreement with the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society.

• The mayor will also request permission for Workforce Development Director Tuwanna Williams to travel to the Mississippi Coding Academy Delta Open House on in Clarksdale, as well as update aldermen on developments in workforce development.