By John Mott Coffey, with News Mississippi affiliate WQNZ
NATCHEZ, Miss.–New roofs for the county jail, courthouse and welfare office are among the expenses that have the Adams County Board of Supervisors looking at ways to finance about $1 million worth of construction projects on the drawing board.
The county board on Monday also discussed the construction underway of the storm shelter by Natchez High School and possibly rebuilding a washed-out section of a road in southwest Adams County.
There’s also the potential cost of closing an unused gas pipeline in Louisiana the county got when supervisors bought the old International Paper mill site. IP used the line to transfer gas from a reserve near Lake St. John to the mill. The county might have to cap it off for environmental reasons if it remains dormant.
The Board of Supervisors is also moving forward on finding how to borrow about $500,000 to combine with funds from Natchez for building a pool. This is being discussed as the first phase of the county and city jointly upgrading recreation facilities. (see related story)
While the county will be reimbursed by the state or federal governments for some projects – such as the $3.4 million storm shelter — receiving those grants could be later than when construction bills are due to be paid, “and our reserve is dry while we wait on repayment.” said county Supervisor Mike Lazarus.
“We’ll be prepaying bills we’ll be reimbursed for,” he said.
The most immediate need for a loan is reroofing the Adams County Jail, the courthouse annex that houses the chancery clerk’s office and the Department of Human Services building. The jail also needs repairs to stabilize its crumbling brick exterior.
Bids for the jail and courthouse are due Oct. 31. Estimated cost for the jail is about $200,000, said county Administrator Joe Murray.
The courthouse annex – which is the 1970s section of the 1800s courthouse – has a seriously worn-out roof, he said. Costs for a new roof is being estimated at about $150,000.Work on the jail and courthouse could begin before January, he said.
While the county will have to bear the total costs for putting new roofs on the jail and courthouse, DHS’s roofing costs will be partly paid for by federal-state funds.
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