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New casino might pay for city's fire protection

Adams County officials looking for a way to pay for fire protection are discussing the possibility that the money could come from a new Natchez casino.

The Adams Board of Supervisors voted Monday to enter a $566,000 contract with the City of Natchez for fire protection of residents outside the city limits. However, the city recently asked for an additional $50,000.

The board turned down that request because it came after the budget was approved. But the Natchez Democrat reports member Henry Watts said he expects the city will make the request again.

Premier Gaming, a management company that is working to develop a casino at Roth Hill in Natchez, received permission two weeks ago from the Mississippi Gaming Commission to move forward with plans to build. Watts noted that the county gets 30 percent of royalties collected by the city from the existing Isle of Capri casino. He wondered if the county would get the same percentage from the proposed new casino in Natchez.

“What’s going to be our status with that second boat. Are we going to be at the table?” Watts asked.

Board president Darryl Grennell said he had not yet heard anything about the new casino from any city officials. But he noted that the county receives a portion of the city’s gaming revenue under state policy.

Watts said the county could use revenue from a new casino to offset the increasing cost of fire protection.

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