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Board of Supervisors moving forward with community pool
from Staff Reports - NEWS
August 8, 2017 -

By John Mott Coffey
NATCHEZ, Miss. — The Adams County Board of Supervisors is moving forward with funds for the community’s long-stalled, overbudgeted pool’s construction amid two members’ concerns about the YMCA’s threat to back out of managing recreation programs for the city and county.

The YMCA is “fed up” and will pull out in November if city officials don’t let the private organization oversee government recreation employees as its management contract calls for, Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission John Ward Junkin told the county board Monday.

“Help us get the city on board,” said Junkin, citing YMCA officials’ complaints about not being allowed to supervise the city recreation department as Natchez officials agreed to in 2015. The city and county boards formed a compact to combine funds for a community recreation program run by the rec commission and the Jackson-based YMCA.

Local YMCA manager Alice Agner is “supposed to be over it all – all recreation,” Lazarus said.

The Board of Supervisors did vote 3-2 Monday to contract two Louisiana-based companies to build the pool and related structures for about $1.5 million. The Natchez Board of Aldermen in July also agreed to provide its share of funds for the pool to be located at Liberty Park.

However, said board President Mike Lazarus, the YMCA is now “in limbo” about whether it’ll manage the city-county aquatic program as it’s been contracted to do. He said he supports building the pool, but not if the YMCA doesn’t manage it.

“After the Y leaves, I’m going to throw my hands up,” Lazarus said.

Supervisor David Carter joined Lazarus in voting against the pool-construction contracts.

County Supervisor Ricky Gray expressed confidence the YMCA will remain, but he questioned what will become of city recreation department employees if the association oversees them.

Gray was joined by Supervisors Calvin Butler and Angela Hutchins in approving the pool-construction contracts.

The board later shut the public out of Monday’s meeting to discuss what county attorney Scott Slover said is potential litigation involving the city-county recreation program. Prior to the closed-door meeting, Slover did not publicly give details except to say the issues were between city and county boards and not against the YMCA.

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell and the Board of Aldermen had representatives of the Recreation Commission and YMCA on the agenda for a meeting today, but they were taken off the schedule. It’s uncertain why. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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