August 12, 2018
Gladys P. Downs, Estate Administratrix
Gladys P. Downs, Estate Administratrix
Dear Family,

It is my pleasure to present the most current updates...

Per USDA, our first incentive project is complete and was certified on JULY 20, 2018.  

Completed items were:

1. Critical Area Planting
2. Grade Stabilization Structure
3. Land Clearing
4. Mulching
5. Installing the pond

Henry will take pics of the pond and mail them out this week to Lillie.  Lillie will then add them to the pics already posted.  Click on POND PICS TAB to view the preparation of installing the pond.

USDA gave us the go-ahead to submit another incentive payment application for our second project. Lillie will press forward with getting that started to beat the October suspense.  The next items of interests are getting the roads built at HWY 552 and HWY 61; however, due to the survey concerns, we may have to push this back for the time being. 

As far as profit, the contractor (Shot) paid the Estate $4700 for the clearing of the pulp wood. That check was mailed to me and placed into a separate account apart from my personal accounts. As soon as we obtain an EIN number for the Estate, we will open up an Estate of Ed Smith account where all money collected from the land will be transferred into that account.

I have since received another check from Shot that was for additional 4-log removal in the amount of $162.54.  The other $119.70 has yet to be received.  Lillie will contact Shot tomorrow to inquire further. 
Shot is also interested in our white oak trees to be used for making whiskey barrels. 

The $407.11 left over money from the USDA's incentive money was also received.  This was the left over amount from  $28,607.11 provided for the first project. We paid the contractor $28,137.  

Our combined total in the bank is $5269.65.

The Administrators & Reps discussed utilizing the left over money for future attorney's fees, paying the annual taxes, and/or assisting those who travel to Mississippi to assist with land issues.

Please click on Click-on "USDA WISH LIST" Tab to view ideas.

USDA informed Lillie that they will glady schedule a meeting to conduct a mineral assessment (i.e. check if we have silica sand, marble, and/or oil, etc.). To make this happen, we must set-up an appointment with Marcus Shorter's team. It's critical that we know the areas where we believe the minerals are located.  USDA will not comb the entire 258.92 acres. 

I think it's best that we request clean-up of the overgrowth of the vines and thorns as Nate suggested in last month's meeting.

The Board agreed on an overwhelming desire to continue to apply for as much funding from USDA as possible in order to accomplish our goals. 

Nate shared that Larry P. will send the requested memo to Attorney Banks to petition the courts for Moffett to sign and provide all of our documents to close out the Estate.

The meeting continued with Belinda Chambers and Ritchie Baltimore. They were unable to meet with Attorney Dennis Sweet because they didn't have the documents supporting their claim.  

Nonetheless, both Belinda & Ritchie will be meeting with MS Congressman (D) Benny Thompson tomorrow (13 AUG) to discuss ways to obtain more grant money for agricultural items and urban development. They have already met with the Mayor of Vicksburg who informed them that we are right on track with USDA.  Though they strongly advise that we network with the President of Alcorn, Dr. Lee, and re-engage with former Alcorn President, Dr. Rankin because he can grant us higher funding. 

Ritchie took things a bit further and met with Zoning to learn more about building dorms and apartments.  The Zoning department made an offer to build the apartments; however, the overwhelming majority of the board members expressed that we must first identify what lies beneath the surface of our land before we build on it.  Also we must close out the Estate and finalize the overlapping deed on the survey before we can build anything on the land.

Greg and Nate will press forward with purchasing a drone to address our concerns about the overlapping deed pertaining to the 40 acres in question with the Daniels family. This is acreage  on the East of the land.

That's the update since our last meeting held August 12, 2018.  

The next scheduled meeting is AUGUST 26th, 6:00-7:00pm Eastern Standard Time.

Thank you for taking the time to read the updates. I appreciate all the effort everyone continues to contribute. Progress is being made. Let's continue to honor Grandfather, Ed Smith's legacy!

Until next time...

God bless you / Love Always,
Gladys P. Downs, Administrator
USDA, Conservation Director, Marcus Shorter
God bless you Mr. Shorter!!! :)
USDA shared this aerial view of our 258.92 acres of land
The new gate was installed at this entrance area.
As you walk further along the trail, to the right is where the Keys family was caught on our cameras trespassing and dumping on our land.
This is the reason we had the gate installed. Lots of dumping and vandalism.  
Additionally, the gravel pit lies beneath all of this debris.
Part of the funding will be used to clean-up this area.
Henry Tip Jackson volunteered, purchased, and installed the gate at the entrance of Estate near Uncle Lee's home.
Cameras installed!
Thank God we installed them because these cameras captured the Keys family entering and dumping on the land.
This is the area that's believed to be incorrectly marked.
Beyond the fence are the presumed 40-50 yards of our land that is unaccounted for on the last survey that was conducted in 2017.
Hilbert Jackson will further discuss this issue with the Daniel's family (who still resides on the land) and provide answers at the next conference call meeting scheduled MAR 11th.
This is the McDonald land that adjoins the Ed Smith Estate.
A prime example of how we can replicate our land.
The brick columns would help beautify the entrance. Recommend developing a similar entrance and engrave the bricks with family members who significantly contributed to the upkeep of the land.  Open to your suggestions as well.

For those of you unaware, our Estate is immediately to the right of this land owned by the McDonalds.

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