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Natchez board approves funds for new round of street repavements
from Staff Reports - NEWS
May 10, 2018 - ListenUpYall.com

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – Some city streets will receive a new layer of pavement paid by funds Natchez gets from leasing city-owned land to Magnolia Bluffs Casino.

The Board of Aldermen on Wednesday approved spending about $310,000 for the street overlay project. The money is coming from extra funds Natchez has gotten from Magnolia Bluffs, which occupies land owned by the city by the Mississippi River at the foot of Roth Hill Road.

With the city being so financially distressed, aldermen haven't been able to resurface streets since 2016 after also doing so the three previous years. About $2 million was used for street work during those four years from revenues Natchez receives for its casino lease fund.

No work schedule or mention of streets to be repaved were discussed during the board’s Wednesday meeting with Mayor Darryl Grennell.
This comes after Adams County supervisors earlier this year earmarked nearly $2 million they’ve borrowed to pay for road-resurfacing projects starting this month throughout the county, including within the city.

The Board of Aldermen on Wednesday also approved allocating $10,000 to place street security cameras for the Natchez Police Department to use in its efforts to combat crime. Fears have escalated in Natchez about recent shootings, robberies and other crimes.

Alderman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis indicated she doesn’t want the public to know these cameras were being strategically placed to help catch criminals, but Grennell said publicizing the fact video monitors are being posted could actually be a deterrent for potential crooks if they knew they could be watched.

In other action, the Board of Aldermen agreed to borrow about $28,000 for refurbishing the Natchez Convention Center’s sound system. The center’s poor audio and acoustics make it difficult to hear speakers at large gatherings there. The loan is to be repaid with convention revenues, said center manager Walter Tipton.

He compared the upgrade to converting from an old-fashioned tube television to a digital TV. “It will definitely be a superior sound system,” Tipton said.

The board on Wednesday also ratified the new contract with Arrow Disposal Services that aldermen had approved Tuesday. The Alabama-based company will replace Waste Pro as the city’s garbage collector. City residents had been paying $13.74 a month for garbage collection with Waste Pro doing it twice-a-week since 2012. When Arrow takes over in June, the monthly rates goes up to $18.45. This includes a new $4 fee to pick up recyclable trash and the $1 that’s previously been assessed by the city for mosquito control.

After about an hour of open meeting Wednesday, the aldermen and mayor closed their session to discuss matters they didn’t want the public to hear about: public records requests by Waste Pro and The Natchez Democrat, litigation and the potential lease of city-owned land to Magnolia Bluffs for parking. No public explanation was made to justify closing the meeting other than it dealt with issues state law allows government boards to bar the public from hearing them discuss.




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