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Adams County supervisors discuss dog problem, new road pavement and schools
from Staff Reports - NEWS
May 16, 2017 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said he’ll develop ways to catch stray, vicious dogs that are posing a serious threat to public safety.

“It’s gotten bad,” Patten told the county Board of Supervisors on Monday. He noted his deputies are ill-equipped to catch canines causing problems out in the county, which has no leash law like Natchez. He noted there are certain dog owners who repeatedly allow their pets to wander and threaten other residents.

Measures discussed to control nuisance dogs include having sheriff’s deputies specialized in handling them and forming a cooperative with the city to get its dogcatcher to expand his reach outside Natchez. While county officials cited cases of the Natchez dogcatcher not responding to calls within the city limits, they’ve been told the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society’s new animal shelter has been full.

Patten said he’ll talk to NACHS leaders and report back to supervisors on what steps are best to take.

New pavement for Adams County roads could be laid this summer using about $650,000 county supervisors will borrow when they get a list of top-priority roads in need of new blacktop, said county board President Mike Lazarus.

Lazarus noted the board is now fully paying off $650,000 borrowed through a previous bond issue going back 10 years to fund road improvements. With that repaid, he said, supervisors will essentially reborrow a similar sum for another round of resurfacing to start in June for some of Adams County’s 480 miles of roads it maintains. Another $2.5 million of bond loans will be paid off in 2018, enabling county supervisors to blacktop even more roads next year, he said.


Adams County supervisors interviewed two candidates Monday for the vacant seat on the Natchez-Adams school board, but they remain undecided on who will replace departed member Cynthia Smith.

Alcorn State University English professor Diane Bunch and physical therapist Rene Wall met with the five county supervisors to answer questions and give their insights on education. However, much of the discussion focused on the school-bond referendum being held May 23, when Natchez-Adams County voters will decide whether to borrow up to $35 million to build a new high school and renovate other school buildings funded by a property tax increase.

The school-bond issue requires 60 percent of voters’ approval May 23 to pass.

About 90 percent of the Natchez-Adams school system’s 3,468 students are black, according to the Mississippi Department of Education. Most white residents in the Natchez-Adams School District send their children to private schools but still pay public school taxes. Advocates of the bond issue are stressing that better NASD school buildings will enhance the overall community. Adams County is about 53 percent black and 44 percent white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Board of Supervisors in April accepted the resignation of Smith, who left the school board for health reasons. The retired principal was appointed to the five-member school board in 2014 and was its only white member. Bunch and Wall are both also white. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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