City to appeal judge’s ruling to Supreme Court
NATCHEZ — The Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted 4-2 Tuesday to appeal a court decision ordering the city reverse its decision last year to give away the city-owned former General Hospital property to a business group.
Last September, the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted 4-2 to transfer the former Natchez General Hospital building and property at 601 W. Oak St. to Magnolia Medical Foundation — a Jackson non-profit — at no cost, with the intent to turn the property into a senior living apartment complex.
Since then, the action received pushback from lawsuits filed by business owners in the community.
In one case filed against the city by Ginger Hyland and Charlotte Copeland, District 6-2 Circuit Court Judge, Debra Blackwell ordered that the city reverse its decision to sell the property based on the ruling that the city abandoned the requirements set by its request for proposals.
The vote to appeal the court’s decision passed 4-2 during a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, with Aldermen Dan Dillard and Sarah Carter-Smith voting against it.
Both Dillard and Carter-Smith had also voted against the property transfer last September.
At the time, Smith said Magnolia Medical Foundation did not supply all of the information that was requested by the city.“In the RFP, they were supposed to provide detailed information regarding where they were going to get the funding (to build the apartments), which they did not do,” Smith said after Tuesday’s the meeting. “That alone is sketchy. … How do you negotiate when you don’t have all the details that are required?”