City Front mural may be completed by June

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 19, 2000

A mural planned for the floodwall at City Front may come from ideas Mississippi artists provide to a committee appointed by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

In drafting the request for proposals, South Ward Alderman Sam Habeeb unsuccessfully pushed for wording that would limit the colors in the painting to those approved in architectural guidelines for the downtown historic district.

“This is an excellent opportunity to beautify the area between the river and downtown, but it needs to fit in with the historic character of the neighborhood,” Habeeb said.

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North Ward Alderman Gertrude Young pointed out that the committee and the city board will already have final approval of any designs.

“I don’t want an artist to feel like their talent is being hindered,” Vicksburg Mayor Robert Walker said. “It’s freedom of expression.”

The mural will be 10.5 feet by 57 feet, and must be completed by June 1. The artists’ proposals will be narrowed to a field of at least two by the mural committee, and those choices will be forwarded to the curator of the Mississippi Museum of Art, who will make a recommendation to the city board.

The artist who is selected will receive $12,000. The project is being funded by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

In other business, the city:

Awarded contracts for recreational supplies to Sports Supply Group Inc. and The Sports Center.

Awarded contract for a mower to Delta States Turf Inc.

Amended the contract with Allen & Hoshall for sewer connections in Kings to increase the cost by $16,060. The new charges are covered under the original Community Development Block Grant agreement. The total amount for the Kings sewer connection project is now $263,410, of which the city is paying $33,285. The project is due to be completed by Jan. 15.

Rezoned Lot 14 of the Joseph A. Coccaro subdivision from C-1 Neighborhood Commercial to R-3 Two-Family Residential. Young recused herself from the vote.

Amended the contract with Hemphill Construction for emergency repairs at the Vicksburg Water Treatment Plant to add $27,050 to the total. The repairs were on the softening unit, which broke down in January. The total charge for repairs is now $365,150.

Amended a city ordinance to charge $100 for fire hydrant flow tests conducted by the Vicksburg Fire Department. No charge has previously been assessed for the tests, which are often requested by private businesses as a prerequisite for getting insurance, said Fire Chief Kevin Westbrook. Each test uses about 1,000 to 1,500 gallons of water.

Authorized the city clerk to advertise for sealed bids for grass cutting at Cedar Hill Cemetery, playground equipment, shovels and a floor sweeper.

Approved an advertisement for the Miss Mississippi Pageant in the amount of $300.

Approved a contract with Dorothy Stewart to oversee the Second Chance juvenile alternative program at Vicksburg High School. Stewart will attend the program three nights per week for 17 weeks, and will be paid $918. The program is paid for by a grant from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.