City hires firm to appraise bluff property

Published 12:01 am Friday, June 15, 2018


NATCHEZ — Natchez has hired a firm to appraise a sought-after piece of bluff property the city aims to purchase, if the price is right.

Ridgeland company Barber and Mann Inc. will appraise the parking lot and adjacent green space off North Broadway Street for a total of $7,500, following a unanimous vote by city aldermen on Tuesday to engage the company. The private land has belonged for decades to various members of the Callon family and is currently titled to managers Cane and Lindsey Callon under Riverview Properties LLC.

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The $7,500 fee includes two phases: a one-day consultation fee of $2,500 and the actual appraisal for $5,000, according to Barber and Mann’s letter of engagement. Whenever the appraisal occurs, the property’s determined value would not affect the amount of these fees, the letter states.

In June 1984, the City of Natchez sold the same piece of property to Sim Callon for $37,333 and in exchange for another tract of Callon’s land on Broadway Street, according to Adams County land records and The Natchez Democrat archives.

Now, Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said he wants the land to enhance the bluff economically in the future.

Riverview Properties’ legal representative Scott Slover has not explicitly confirmed that the property is for sale, though he has said the family would remain open to the possibility of working something out with the city.

With the appraisal now set into motion, City Attorney Bob Latham said the city is pursuing an option on the land that would give officials four to six months to see if an arrangement would be feasible.

As far as what asking price would be feasible, Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said he would not try to estimate what price the city could pay until he hears back from the appraiser.

“Until I can see something from a professional and his or her justifications for that appraisal, I have no idea,” Grennell said.

A parking lot, which is part of the land in question, was open to the public for use in accessing the bluff for decades.  The lot has been closed off to the public for the past month. The closure prompted the city to inquire about the property’s status and begin to express interest in possibly purchasing the property.