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Natchez board moves forward on old hospital conveyance and new budget
from Staff Reports - NEWS
September 12, 2018 - ListenUpYall.com

By John Mott Coffey NATCHEZ, Miss. – City aldermen voted 4-2 Tuesday to give the old Natchez General Hospital building to a foundation with plans to restore it into apartments. The decision is a ratification of a final deal with Magnolia Medical Foundation that the board voted last September to negotiate. The 93-year-old building owned by the city will be turned over to the foundation on the condition it renovates the Oak Street structure 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. Natchez aldermen and Mayor Darryl Grennell met in closed session to discuss the final details of the transaction prior to Tuesday’s public meeting. The 4-2 vote to let the Jackson-based foundation acquire the building was taken with no open debate among the divided board members. Neighboring propertyowners have voiced opposition to the foundation’s acquisition of the building amid concerns apartments will foster more crime, cause street congestion and decrease the value of neighboring properties. Ensuing court fights over the property transfer are expected to delay the building’s actual refurbishment, said city attorney Bob Latham. Voting to give the old General Hospital building to Magnolia were Aldermen Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis, Billie Joe Frazier, Felicia Irving and Ben Davis. Aldermen Sarah Carter Smith and Dan Dillard voted against this. The city acquired the building in 2013 after the previous owner defaulted on paying taxes. Built in 1925, it was Natchez’ main hospital until 1960.


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