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YMCA officials meet with Adams County supervisors wanting more progress on recreation
from Staff Reports - NEWS
February 5, 2019 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – YMCA officials told Adams County supervisors Monday that they have high hopes for advancing the community’s recreation programs, but more work is needed.

Regional YMCA executive Jara Miller and Natchez director Faye Minor met with the county board after members last month complained that the recreation administrators weren’t being accountable about how the publicly funded sports programs and facilities are being managed.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors and the Natchez Board of Aldermen jointly fund the recreation program and contracted the YMCA in 2015 to oversee it under the auspices of the Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission.

City aldermen have also raised questions in recent months that went unanswered about how the YMCA is spending public dollars on recreation.

While Miller and Minor on Monday sketched out various recreation offerings the YMCA has in store for Natchez and Adams County, more must be done, said county supervisors.

“People want to see progress,” said county Supervisor David Carter. “A lot of kids want to do sports and there’s nowhere to do it…. I know it’s a challenge.”

“It sounds to me like they’re dragging their feet,” said Supervisor Mike Lazarus, referring to recreation leaders not addressing various shortcomings at public ballfields.

Minor acknowledged the community’s ballparks do need improvements. “Our fields are in bad need of upgrading,” she said.

County Supervisor Ricky Gray said Minor – an experienced basketball coach – is “the right person for the right job for the right time” to direct YMCA activities in Natchez.

Former Natchez YMCA director Alice Agner left in October.

In consolidating their recreation efforts in 2015, the city and county each pledged to put up $100,000 annually for recreation construction.

For program operations, the county annually allocates $334,000 to combine with $550,000 from the city for the Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission to appropriate. Much of that is paid to the suburban Jackson-based Metropolitan YMCAs of Mississippi.

The new community pool is the most conspicuous result of this. For its construction and June 2018 opening, the two boards joined in coming up with the money for the Liberty Park aquatic center. The pool costs about $838,000 to build. An adjacent structure for concessions and restrooms cost about $500,000.

Natchez-Adams County hasn’t had a public swimming pool since the one at Duncan Park pool closed nearly two decades ago.

While the unheated pool is closed for the winter, it will reopen for next week’s “Polar Bear Plunge.” The event takes place Feb. 16. For more information, go to the YMCA of Natchez’s Facebook page: | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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