Hotel tax on ballot

Published 11:26 pm Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NATCHEZ — The $2 occupancy tax may have passed the House of Representative and the Senate, but it now faces the citizens of Natchez.

The board of aldermen voted unanimously to adopt a resolution to put it up for a vote in the June 3 general city election.

The tax will need a 60 percent vote of approval to pass.

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Alderman Bob Pollard spoke os his appreciation for the bill.

“This bill gives the city of Natchez approximately $400,000 to market Natchez with,” Pollard said.

This is opposed to the $120,000 annually the city has to market itself.

Mayor Phillip West said there were eight other requests in legislation from other cities and only the Natchez bill passed.

Director of Tourism Connie Taunton thanked city officials for their diligence in not letting the bill die.

“The battle is not over yet,” Taunton said, however. “We’ve got to get the vote out.”

In City Engineer David Gardner’s report, he gave an update on the Marblestone Road cave-in.

Essentially, money with be coming from an emergency appropriation bill to fix the road but it may take nearly four months for it to find its way to Natchez.

West suggested that, until those funds come through and the road can be fixed entirely, somewhat of a detour should be made.

The city will begin to look into moving the road over a few feet to avoid the large hole that is presently in the road and causing problems.

In other city business, a resolution was adopted to allow the city to apply for Preserve America status that would allow the city to apply for grants to fund a potential project at the Forks of the Road site.

The city hopes to build an interpretive center on the site.

Roy Garcia, who has announced his retirement from his 40-year coaching career at Cathedral High School, was honored with a proclamation.