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Natchez, Adams County boards meet to discuss pool funds
from Staff Reports - NEWS
June 27, 2017 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – The city and county boards will try to come up with an extra $400,000 or more to fulfill their commitment to build the long-delayed swimming pool for the Natchez-Adams County community.

Construction bids received to build the pool have exceeded the $1 million budgeted by the Natchez Board of Aldermen and Adams County Board of Supervisors.

After a joint meeting Monday of the two boards, Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said they’re attempting to find the additional funds needed for the pool that local officials had hoped would be built last year.

Grennell said aldermen are eyeing community development funds they get from leasing city-owned land to Magnolia Bluffs Casino. The county board will consider allocating its share of the extra pool money when it reviews other financial priorities for the county budget year that starts in October. County Board President Mike Lazarus has said additional money needed from the supervisors could come from the funds they’ve already committed for the long-term funding of a city-county recreation program.

The county and city boards in 2015 formally agreed to fund the construction of the swimming pool to be at Liberty Park by Natchez High School. That’s to be followed with $100,000 annually from the city and county boards for other recreation construction in the subsequent 10 years. In addition, the county would significantly boost its annual recreation spending to $334,000 and combine it with the city’s $1 million recreation budget to be given to the Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission. The Jackson-based YMCA has been contracted to manage the new Natchez-Adams County recreation program.

At Monday’s meeting, Alderman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis received assurances from architect Johnny Waycaster that the pool -- if funds and construction go as planned – will “be in good shape” for completion by May 2018.

There has been no public swimming pool in Natchez-Adams County since the city-owned Duncan Park pool closed around 2001.

While they strive to build a pool, city and county officials expressed concerns Monday about existing recreation facilities. They acknowledged improvements are needed for what Alderman Dan Dillard called the “embarrassing” conditions of restrooms at the Duncan Park golf clubhouse and a ballfield. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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