City OKs early partial payment on mural

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 22, 2001

The nearly complete mural at City Front (The Vicksburg Post/C. TODD SHERMAN)

[05/22/01] With the City Front mural project nearing completion two months ahead of schedule, Vicksburg officials agreed Monday to make a partial payment to the artist.

In a 2-1 decision, the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen agreed to pay $1,280 to Martha Ferris, the artist who designed the mural, for the project on the flood wall at Levee Street.

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Ferris needed the money to pay additional help, according to her written request.

“Very good progress has been made on the mural,” Mayor Robert Walker said.

South Ward Alderman Sam Habeeb, who cast the dissenting vote, said he felt the mural did not fit the downtown area. Habeeb had objected to the bright colors in the mural and also voted against awarding the project in April for the design submitted by Ferris.

“I didn’t have any problem with what was being done. I could have voted for it, but I’m not excited about the design,” Habeeb said.

Ferris’ design was selected from 10 proposals received by the city to be painted on a 57-foot section of the wall at the foot of Clay Street. She will receive $12,000 for the work.

Under the original terms of the contract, Ferris was paid $3,770 at the start of the contract, a partial payment of $1,280 and final payment of $6,950 at completion.

With the amendment approved Monday for the second $1,280 to be paid, the city will owe $5,670 after the work is done. The work is being funded in part by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

The deadline for completion is July 31, but the mural is expected to be complete this week.

In other matters, the board:

Authorized the City Clerk to publish legal notice of final settlement for a retaining wall at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

Declared Memorial Day a paid holiday for all city employees.

Approved a request from American Legion Post 213 for police and fire department assistance for Memorial Day activities.

Authorized a refund in the amount of $26,646 to Bunge Corporation for overpayment of ad valorem taxes.

Accepted a 2001 STEP occupant protection grant of $10,000. The funds are used to pay overtime for police officers and to purchase 20 child safety seats.

Amended the city budget $11,799 to add three homes to the 1999 sewer project in Kings.

Granted permission to demolish structures and clean lots at 719 Dabney St., 2804 Arcadia St., and 2028 Military Ave.

Approved the Miss Mississippi Parade in Downtown Vicksburg for 7 p.m., July 9.

Approved hirings in the Vicksburg Police, Recreation and Public Works departments.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen will meet again at 10 a.m. Friday at City Hall.