Officials talk disbanding recreation commission board – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

Noble Horvath

NATCHEZ — Natchez and Adams County officials talked of disbanding the Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission and building a new sports and wellness center at the community pool. The recreation commission was formed in 2008 with the signing of an inter-local agreement between the City of Natchez and Adams County and […]

NATCHEZ — Natchez and Adams County officials talked of disbanding the Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission and building a new sports and wellness center at the community pool.

The recreation commission was formed in 2008 with the signing of an inter-local agreement between the City of Natchez and Adams County and is comprised of a volunteer board appointed by the city, county and Natchez Adams School District.

In a Monday meeting of the Adams County Board of Supervisors, officials decided to forgo appointing a new member to the recreation commission.

Adams County Attorney Scott Slover said the topic of disbanding the recreation commission was discussed in a joint meeting with the City of Natchez at which neither board had a quorum.

“There is no need to appoint a new member if we won’t have the recreation commission anymore,” Slover said.

Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said that at the joint meeting the city brought forward the idea of building a centralized sports and wellness center in Liberty Park that could be managed by the city and county under a new inter-local agreement in place of the recreation commission.

“We are looking at putting in place a new inter-local agreement that would allow the city and county to work together on a sports and wellness center for Natchez-Adams County,” Gibson said. “The sports and wellness center would be located at Liberty Park and would be a part of the pool. We want to provide indoor facilities for sports and recreation and also for wellness programs. We want it to be something for the entire community from the youngest to the oldest.”

Officials said the recreation commission remains in place for the time being and continues to maintain operations at the community pool. Once city and county officials have negotiated a new agreement, it would replace the recreation commission, officials said.

“We’re moving in that direction,” Gibson said. “This would replace the old inter-local agreement that dealt with recreation. In the same strategy, we’re hoping that the city can take a more proactive stance for its existing parks.

“We have six city-owned parks in need of renewal and we would like to focus the city’s efforts on renewing those parks with our city budget dollars while at the same time giving support and attention with the county towards a sports and wellness center. With that, we do want to see the pool completed and the improvements that were slated for the pool finally put in place.”

Gibson said city officials did not set out to disband the recreation commission but saw that there was little community interest in participating on the recreation board on a volunteer basis.

“We’ve noticed that fewer people seemed to be interested, commission board members were resigning or stepping aside,” Gibson said. “We thought this was an opportunity to refocus our efforts to what was the initial goal years ago — building a sports complex. What we’re looking at now is more of a sports and wellness facility that would meet a myriad of needs in our community.”

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