Aldermen OK rezoning for old Moose Lodge

Published 5:10 pm Friday, July 1, 2022

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NATCHEZ — In a special meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen Friday afternoon, aldermen approved the rezoning of land and a building at 455 John R. Junkin Drive, on which the Moose Lodge sits, from single residential to highway business B-4.

Josh McDonald, who owns McDonald Collision at 453 John R. Junkin, is purchasing the property for use in his business.

McDonald Collision needs more room to hold vehicles prior to repairing them. In addition, McDonald said he is planning on opening a shop space in the Moose Lodge building.

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“All of the production will go up the hill,” he said.

The Moose Lodge plans to locate to a smaller facility.

The city’s planning commission approved the rezoning and recommended through Natchez City Planner Frankie Legaux that the board of aldermen approve the request as well.

The meeting Friday was held at the NAPAC museum. Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said beginning a year ago, the board has committed to meeting once a year at the museum as a way to bring awareness and introduce it to community members who may not have visited it.

“It is great to be back at NAPAC,” Gibson said. “I want to thank Bobby Dennis (executive director) and Mary White and Juanita Jones, founder of NAPAC, who are present today.

“We started this tradition a year ago and it is our desire as a statement of the importance of our African American history and citizens to every year at about this time to have an official board meeting at NAPAC,” he said.

Dennis welcomed the mayor and aldermen and provided information about activity at the NAPAC museum. He said 2,734 visitors toured the museum in 2021. However, from Jan. 1 through June 30 of this year, 3,053 visitors have gone through the museum.

He said the increase in visitors is the result of the efforts of a number of groups, including the City of Natchez and Visit Natchez.

“It’s very important to us as a museum to have the support of the entire city and our neighbors on Main Street. It means a lot to the museum,” Dennis said.