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City eyes casino parking options

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez is eyeing the gravel lot next to the Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center for parking it must provide to Magnolia Bluffs Casino in accordance with the lease between the casino and the city.

Mayor Butch Brown said the parking lot is currently the most logical option for the 100 parking spaces the city is required to provide the casino per the lease. Brown said the lot would be used for casino employee parking.

But Festival of Music Board Chairwoman Mary Lessley said allowing casino employees to park in the lot would cause problems with parking for the festival and other events at the center.

“Basically our parking comes from that gravel parking area,” she said.

Lessley said the city could allow casino employees to park in the grassy area beside the gravel lot. She said the festival does not use that area for parking.

Brown said using the gravel lot for casino employee parking is not set in stone yet. He said the city has other options for parking.

“We don’t think it will cause an issue with parking (at the center), but if it becomes a real issue, we’ll go to another plan,” Brown said.

The Natchez Board of Aldermen finalized the third amendment to its lease with casino developers in February, prior to Brown taking office. As part of the amendment, the city agreed to provide 100 parking spaces to the casino.