Aldermen put end to controversy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 12, 2000

A new city ordinance has opened the door for Natchez resident, Ken Allgood to commercially develop a section of Lower Woodville Road.

Despite complaints from residents, the Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance at Tuesday’s regular meeting that switches the land from an Open Land (O-L) to a Neighborhood Business (B-1) designation.

The land in question is located between 221 and 241 Lower Woodville Road between the Elk’s Lodge and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. It extends 300 feet down Lower Woodville Road and includes about 2.53 acres.

Email newsletter signup

Robert Lehman, of 222 Lower Woodville Road, spoke against the rezoning at the meeting.

&uot;It’s an impractical thing to do,&uot; Lehman said.

Lehman described the property as marginal.

Lower Woodville Road is also prone to flooding and the development would increase traffic, he said.

Ken Allgood, of Allgood Business Machines on Highland Boulevard, wants to purchase the site from Trace Publishing Company to build an office building.

He does not think the building will greatly impact traffic or drainage. And since this is a highway, it should be available.

&uot;It’s a public road and that’s what it was built for,&uot; Allgood said.

Alderman Sue Stedman represents the section of the city that includes this area.

Stedman, who is also a realtor, said she wanted to refute rumors she had heard about the rezoning.

&uot;I do not have a financial interest in this transaction,&uot;&160;Sue Stedman.

If she did, Stedman said she would not vote on it.

The Natchez Metro Planning Commission voted last month to recommend the rezoning to the Aldermen. On Tuesday, all board members voted to accept the rezoning with the exception of Joyce Arceneaux, who was not at the meeting but in a letter to the board, she said she opposed the rezoning.

In other business the board:

— Expressed displeasure with a decision by local cable provider, Cable 1, to raise its rates.

This is the second time the company has raised its rates in recent months.

&uot;I totally disagreed with the last rate increase and here we have another one,&uot;&160;said Alderman David Massey, who thinks the company’s cable service is substandard.

Cable 1 plans to inform customers of the change with its January billing. The increase will be $1 a month and will only include the movie station packages and not basic hookup. The board can not prohibit the increase. Massey said the board should revaluate the franchise once its contract ends July 2001.

— Said it had renegotiated the cost of renovating the proposed community center to $474,767.

The center is located on Franklin Street and Scarbrough Construction in Jackson, will do the renovation work.

Alderman received bids earlier this month but all were above the $500,000 allocated for the project. Scarbrough’s was the lowest at $561,232.

&uot;It’s more manageable (now) than it was,&uot; Brown said.