by John Mot Coffee, with News Mississippi affiliate WQNZ
NATCHEZ, Miss.–The Natchez Board of Aldermen is applying for state funds to refurbish the Natchez Senior Citizens’ Center, which needs an estimated $1 million in repairs.
After holding a public hearing Tuesday as required by law, the aldermen voted to pledge spending about $215,000 in city funds to match state community development money Natchez could receive for the 102-year-old building’s most pressing needs. The high priorities include a new heating and cooling system, new windows and new paint costing about $411,000, said Natchez Community Development Director James Johnston.
The city’s matching funds would come from money Natchez gets from leasing city-owned land to Magnolia Bluffs Casino. The Natchez Senior Citizens’ Multipurpose Center – which is the old Carpenter school on Washington Street – needs about $1 million worth of repairs, Johnston said.
The city can only afford to fix the building in phases, but Alderman Tony Fields expressed hope future funds will be spent later for a complete rehabilitation. “We are committed to the renovations of the Senior Citizens’ Center,” he said.
The city has a May deadline to apply for the funds from the Mississippi Development Authority.