Casino signage removed by city officials

Published 12:04am Saturday, March 2, 2013

NATCHEZ — Even paying the City of Natchez more than $1 million a year in rent apparently won’t buy you any leniency when it comes to city law.

The city removed illegal signs Friday placed at the top of Roth Hill Road by Magnolia Bluffs Casino that the casino president contends are necessary to let people know the casino’s location.

City Planner Frankie Legaux said she told Casino President Kevin Preston to remove the signs Monday, but the signs remained on the corner of Roth Hill Road and Broadway Street until city code enforcement officer Anita Smith removed them Friday.

“We contacted them as a courtesy, but they wouldn’t remove them,” Smith said. “You can’t just put up a sign because you want to put up a sign; you have to come to (the) planning (department), and we’ll take you through the process.”

The banner signs, Legaux said, require a permit, which the casino did not obtain, and must meet certain dimension requirements. The signs also must not be displayed for more than 15 days.

Preston said he did not believe other businesses with similar signs downtown had permits.

“We set them up simply to direct people to where the casino is,” he said. “We’ve been inundated with calls from people who will say, ‘OK, we’re here at the Grand Hotel, where are you located?’”

The casino, Preston said, will begin to work with the city on installing a permitted sign at the top of Roth Hill Road to direct patrons to the bottom of the hill where the casino is located.

“It’s a little unfortunate when you’ve got a company like ours contributing a significant amount of investment to the community to be having to do these kinds of things to direct people to the casino,” he said.

Mayor Butch Brown said he noticed the signs before he left town for a trip last week and determined he would handle it when he gets back to the office Monday. He said he received calls Friday and had heard Preston was upset that the city would not allow the signs

“I’m a little disturbed by some of the comments that have been attributed to Kevin Preston, who says we owe it to him to allow signage for the casino because of the amount of money they will be putting into the city,” he said.

Rules are rules, Brown said.

“We do have laws and ordinances in place, and we will enforce those until they are changed,” he said.

Preston said he has a meeting set up with Brown Monday to discuss the sign.

“Look, we’re easy,” he said. “We just want to make sure people aren’t confused; they get frustrated because they don’t know where we’re located. If it needs to be a historic-looking sign like the one we’ve got down on the bottom of the hill, OK. We just need some direction.”

  • Anonymous

    Well son,you got the garden club,The Gone With The WInd gang,who almost bankrupt Fat Mama,s tamales,pulling the strings,they run this town aka the good ole boys syndrome,who can argue with a group of people who have mananged to torment and push away business after business with all their good decision making process.

  • William

    Guess somebody neglected to schmooze the Garden Club tails before putting up some signage? Naughty Naughty. Butch just thinks he runs things in Natchez. Guess he has forgotten that them ol biddies run the show!

  • Anonymous

    Preston could ask the desk clerk at the hotels to wear a sign “ask me how to get to the casino(s)”. The one at the Grand could wear “ask me how to get to the casino across the street”.

  • Anonymous

    Since when did the rules mean anything to Brown?

  • Anonymous

    William, you have bought into and are promoting an old misconception about the Garden Clubs. My( deceased) grandmother, great-aunt and mother were ALL members of the G.C., and during all the time they were I NEVER heard any of them speak of trying to keep industry out of Natchez. NEVER.
    The G.C.s do NOT run Natchez, indeed, with all they are involved in they have NO TIME to commit to such a nefarious scheme, as you and some others think they do.
    I, for one, appreciate the solid work that the G.C.s have done for Natchez all these years. They have brought in, through their events, countless dollars that turn over, on average, 7 times in the local economy. Not bad for a bunch of blue-hairs!!!
    I disagree with your assertion that they run Natchez, but if you have PROOF of your claim, cough it up.

  • Anonymous

    It is all the “for sell” signs the mayor and his henchmen should be worried about.

  • Anonymous

    You got that right!

  • khakirat

    Yea, we did the song and dance my family was the same as yours and did it as a thing a Natchezian does their dues(performing in the tablue and had fun at it as well. Working middle class people spend large amounts of money in the bell dresses and costumes that are used in the pageant at no money for it but the privilege . But when things as that of the Blue house and other regulations and city planner that miss treated my Mother and the Mayor at the time got him away from city hall time I come from out of town!! Yes, my parents said the first pilgrimage after IP smoke stacks gave that rotten smell they went to the plant bosses (and town leaders) and told them to shut it down which they didn’t!! The histerical groups that owned the old house or the money bags didn’t want anything of industry here in Natchez but the working middle class always wanted it so their kids wouldn’t move away as they have done!! As a matter of fact all the Exxon in Baton Rouge would have been here in Natchez if it wasn’t for this bunch!! When the pilgrimage time comes the city leaders bow to the Garden Clubs cutting grass and cleaning up that should be done on a regular basis instead instead of catering to these histerical people because it time for pilgrimage! I’m going to end this note that my major was History in college and I was born and reared here and Natchez will always be home but the way this bunch has held Natchez back(it young people) is a disgrace and the motto was Where the Old South still Lives that they never wanted Natchez to grow is a fact!! Natchez needs to live for the present and not the past as it has that has hurt the growth and quality of life here in Natchez but as always that the Natchez Way huh’??!! Natchez could have both History and industry if it would ever work together but when you have a Natchez mafia and etc. it makes it hard as that of congress this day and time!!

  • khakirat

    I heard that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • khakirat

    Yea, when those tourist come for the pilgrimage the GC don’t want them to know how to get to the casinos for they will go to gamble than to go to the pageant and the old homes as they have done before!!

  • snatchez

    OK, now i understand, the code enforecment officer, Willie Jones, works for the Magnolia. I just went down there and the signs are still up at 5:00 on Saturday. Did Kevin Preston have the government of Natchez in his pocket?

  • khakirat

    Whats going on here?? This is like the cowboy movies where the saloon owners own the town and law huh’??!!Maybe there will be a shot out on the bluff??!! ND we want to know!!

  • Anonymous

    give them the damn signs crazy people