Neil Building renamed City Hall Annex

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 17, 2001

City officials, from left, South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman, Mayor Laurence Leyens, North Ward Alderman Gertrude Young and City Clerk Walter Osborne listen as City Planner Ronnie Bounds, far right, addresses the board in its new meeting room.(The Vicksburg Post/C. TODD SHERMAN)

[08/17/01] The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen held its first meeting in the city’s new “blue room” Thursday and announced a name change for the building next door to City Hall.

Dubbed the Neil Building when privately built, the one-story structure at South and Walnut will now be known as the City Hall Annex. It is also where city business will be handled by elected officials, replacing the second floor council room.

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletter

Receive daily headlines and obituaries

“A lot of work has gone on to make this possible,” said Mayor Laurence Leyens.

The move from City Hall, announced in July, was made because the new conference room could accommodate more people and to improve telecasts on the city’s Cable Channel 23.

The new room holds about 72 people. The room in City Hall had a capacity of 45 until video equipment cut into available space in January.

The cost of remodeling the new board room was about $1,500 including a television control room next door and painting the wall behind the mayor and aldermen “TV blue.” City Hall employees have since dubbed it the “blue room.”

Shortly after taking office July 1, Leyens announced plans to upgrade the city’s television programming to include new equipment to improve the showing of board and other meetings. It was soon determined that it would be less expensive to move instead of trying to remodel the board room at City Hall.

No plans have been set for the City Hall board room.

North Ward Alderman Gertrude Young said the name change would help the public find the building where the public meetings are held.

“Nobody knows where it (the Neil Building) is,” Young said.

Leyens said the city will also look at putting a sign on the City Hall Annex building to help identify it.

The Neil Building was purchased by the city in 1995 for additional office space. Currently, the purchasing and engineering departments are based in the building. Plans are for the human resources department to move in, too.

In other matters, the board:

Tabled a request to approve taking out a page advertisement in the Delta Business Journal for $600 after Young pointed out that a new city policy limits advertising spending to under $500 unless the expense is included in the budget.

Authorized a $100 contract with Donna Thornton to design a city advertisement in the Delta Business Journal and write an article for the publication.

Approved a request by the Lakewood Homeowners Association to change street signs in the subdivision.

The board will meet again at 10 a.m., Monday at the City Hall Annex building.