- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - The city of Natchez will ask the Mississippi Legislature to donate to it the “bean field” property at the end of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Natchez attorney Walter Brown tells The Natchez Democrat (https://bit.ly/1AuhMNw ) he will take the draft legislation to the board of aldermen next week for endorsement before handing it off to legislators for filing.

The bill would authorize the state to deed 67 acres of property - 37 acres at the bean field area, 30 more across U.S. Highway 61 - to the city of Natchez. The United States officially deeded the land over to the state in August.

The bean field area was originally intended to be the terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway, but in the 1990s that location was changed.

“The bean field became surplus property when the terminus changed,” said Natchez Mayor Butch Brown.

The mayor said the proposal provides the city will sell the balance of the property not used for recreational or education purposes to generate revenue to pay for the new Emerald Mound connector on the Natchez Trace. Whatever funds were not used for the connector would be directed to the National Park Service to develop the Fort Rosalie site in Natchez.

The city currently has a lease on the bean field property. While the property has figured significantly in a number of plans to develop a citycounty recreation complex through the years, it has not yet been dedicated to a specific use.

“At this time, there are no plans for anything there, but that is not to say there are not any plans for the future,” Mayor Brown said.

The federal legislation deeding the land to the state has a caveat requiring any development on the bean field property to be compatible with the use of the parkway.

“In other words, they don’t want a really tall building, a cell tower or excessive lighting that you can see from the parkway,” Walter Brown said.

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Information from: The Natchez Democrat, https://www.natchezdemocrat.com/


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