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Natchez seeking federal funds for riverboat docking facility
from Staff Reports - NEWS
October 11, 2017 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – The Board of Aldermen is applying for $11 million in federal funds for building a Natchez riverboat dock estimated to cost about $13.5 million.

In voting Tuesday to seek the federal grant, the Natchez board committed to put up $500,000 in city funds and seek more money from the state and federal governments to meet the estimated costs for constructing the facility.

As proposed, the dock would be down Roth Hill Road on the Mississippi River near Magnolia Bluffs Casino. It would accommodate two large paddlewheelers, such as the American Queen and the Queen of the Mississippi. They currently dock at Natchez Under-the-Hill on Silver Street. The facility could also have a permanently docked riverboat for giving short-term excursions on the river.

The city is applying for money from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER program (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants). The deadline to apply is Monday.

Natchez has sought state and federal funds in the past for a riverboat docking facility with no success. The city board, as it’s done in years past, will also request money from the Mississippi Legislature, which begins its annual session in January.

It’s uncertain how the city could come up with $500,000 in local matching funds if awarded the federal funds, but Alderman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis said Tuesday it could use revenues Natchez gets from Magnolia Bluffs Casino, which leases city-owned land by the river.
It’s also uncertain when federal TIGER grants will be awarded. DOT announced the 2016 round of awards in July of that year. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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