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Adams County board meets
from Staff Reports - NEWS
April 18, 2017 - ListenUpYall.com

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – The Adams County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to borrow $657,000 to repave county roads. The work should begin in May after financing is arranged and supervisors get a list of top-priority roads in need of new blacktop, said county board President Mike Lazarus.

He noted the board this year is fully paying off debts on previous bond issues from 10 years ago to fund road improvements. Adams County has 480 roads to maintain.

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Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said Monday his deputies have been “disheartened” by public comments critical of last week’s drug bust of Dub Rogers, a popular Natchez businessman. Sheriff’s deputies on April 11 arrested Rogers and seized about 22 pounds of medical-grade marijuana and several weapons in his possession.

While Patten said Rogers appears to be esteemed by some people as a “folk hero,” that should not thwart law-enforcement officials from going after the owner of Steampunk expresso bar and Smoot’s Grocery blues lounge.

“They’re only doing their jobs,” Patten said of his deputies.“We will not be deterred... As long as it’s illegal, we’re going to enforce the law.”

The sheriff made his comments Monday at a meeting of the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

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The Adams County Board of Supervisors turned down a request Monday to pay for sheriff’s deputies to be stationed full time at two Natchez-Adams schools. Sheriff Travis Patten said problems at Morgantown and Central Alternative schools are beyond what NASD security officers can manage.

However, county supervisors said the Natchez-Adams School District board should foot the estimated $20,000 costs of having sheriff’s deputies patrolling the campuses.

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Natchez-Adams school board member Phillip West stressed the need Monday for voters to approve the proposed funding of a $45 million building program in next month’s referendum on whether to raise property taxes.

“I believe we are already many years behind as it relates to our facilities,” said West, noting all Natchez-Adams School District buildings are more than 50 years old. “They are not safe facilities on the most part and are not up to snuff on technology.”

Meeting with the Adams County Board of Supervisors, West said the May 23 referendum will enable voters to decide if Natchez-Adams County can upgrade its public education system to make it a better place to live and lure more industries. “This will put us in a better position to (create) jobs,” West said. “We’ve just got to step up our game.”

The NASD school board is seeking support to build a new high school and renovate other schools for a total cost of about $45 million. Most of the money would be borrowed through a bond issue.

This would cost Natchez-Adams County taxpayers more. Based on calculations done for the NASD board, the tax increase could range from about $44 a year on a house valued at $50,000 to $198 on a house valued at $200,000. For cars, depending on their values, the tax increase could run from about $26 to more than $44 a year.

A 60 percent majority is required for the school-bond issue to pass.




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