Parking lot on city’s agenda

Published 1:01 am Thursday, May 31, 2018


NATCHEZ — During a special called meeting of the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen at 8 a.m. today, city officials are expected to consider whether to negotiate with owners of a parking lot on Broadway Street that was recently closed to the public.

The parking lot, owned by Riverside Properties LLC, had long been used by residents and visitors as a place to park and gain access to the Natchez bluffs and the Natchez Trails. The lot was closed unexpectedly earlier this month.

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Ward 6 Alderman Dan Dillard said he requested the item be placed on the agenda for today’s meeting in the Council Chambers Building at 115 S. Pearl St.

“I want to bring it up with the board to see if the board is inclined to contact the owners and negotiate a lease or purchase,” Dillard said, adding that until the property was closed to the public earlier this month, many people did not realize it was not public property. “It is a real asset to the bluffs.”

Other items on the agenda for today’s meeting include discussion of closing a portion of Commerce Street between Main and State streets from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through the summer to accommodate the 2018 Spring/Summer Downtown Natchez Farmers Market, said Mayor Darryl Grennell.

The city also will consider contracting with Eddie Burkes to serve as an independent contractor through Aug. 25 at $9.50 per hour for up to 25 hours per week to coordinate the farmer’s market.

Aldermen also are expected to consider implementing a Merit Health Healthy Eating Voucher Program, which allows qualified farmers market vendors to be reimbursed each Tuesday for vouchers redeemed during each Saturday’s Farmers Market.

“That’s a program Eddie Burkes worked on with Merit Health to get a grant for $5,000,” Grennell said. “It works in concert with physicians who write prescriptions for fresh fruits and vegetables. Patients give them to a vendor at the farmers market, and they are reimbursed. It is a free healthy food underwriting from Merit Health.”

Finally, the agenda includes an item to pay the contractor on a recently completed Natchez community swimming pool.