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Natchez borrows $245,000 for tax anticipation loan

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez has borrowed $245,000 in tax-anticipation loan funds, and City Clerk Donnie Holloway said he does not believe the city will need to borrow more.

The Natchez Board of Aldermen voted to take out a $300,000 tax-anticipation loan in October to fund city operations until the city receives tax revenues. Holloway said the loan is being used for payroll.

The loan, which has a 1-percent interest rate, must be paid back by March 15.

Mayor Butch Brown said he has no problem with the city taking out a tax-anticipation loan since it is paid back in the same fiscal year.

Brown said, however, he would like to see the city get to a point where it is operating strictly on its cash flow and does not need tax-anticipation loans.

To get to that point, Brown said, the city is working to sell surplus property, which can be put back on the tax roll and generate revenue for the city.

The city recently sold 15.4 acres of property behind the Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center to the Worley Family Trust for $192,000. The sale of the property is contingent upon approval of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, which must have the opportunity to conduct an impact study on the property.

The city, Brown said, is also expected to sell Brumfield Apartments to New Hope Missionary Baptist Church next week. The church plans to provide affordable housing at the complex.

Brown said the city is also assisting developers in opening back up the old general hospital to residents.

The city also has new industrial prospects, Brown said, including a health-care related industry that Brown said should begin building a facility next year. Brown declined to comment on the specifics of the industry because of a confidentiality agreement.

Grants will also be important, Brown said, to helping improve the city’s cash flow.

“They’re getting harder and harder to get in these tough times, but we don’t shut down when the fountain runs dry, we just have to put more water in it.”

 

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