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Historic Natchez Building Needs State Money for Repairs

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.

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