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Natchez board faces legal challenge to plans for old hospital building
from Staff Reports - NEWS
September 28, 2018 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – The Board of Aldermen and mayor closed the public out of a meeting earlier this week to discuss a court challenge from Natchez residents against the city donating the old General Hospital building to a foundation planning to convert it into apartments.

The lawsuit, filed in Adams County Circuit Court last week, names 47 people who allege aldermen have illegally donated the Oak Street structure to Magnolia Medical Foundation.

The board and Mayor Darryl Grennell barred the public from their meeting Tuesday to discuss the dispute, so it’s uncertain how they’re rebutting the charges that they’ve violated the law and the rights of those who maintain they’re “adversely affected” by the decision to give the building to Magnolia.

State law allows government boards to close their meetings to discuss strategies to fight lawsuits.
Natchez aldermen on Sept. 11 voted 4-2 to give the former hospital to Magnolia. The decision was a ratification of a deal the board voted last September to negotiate.

The 93-year-old building owned by the city is to be turned over to the Jackson-based foundation on the condition it renovates it as planned, does not seek tax-exempt status and pays property taxes. Magnolia presented plans last year to spend $3.4 million for restoring the dilapidated building into 30 apartments for retirees. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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