City bill $440,000 to move utilities for KCS|[10/11/05]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Vicksburg will face an unexpected $440,000 expense to move municipal water and gas lines out of the way of a Kansas City Southern Railway project, city officials announced Monday.

The city’s two aldermen, meeting without Mayor Laurence Leyens, took no action on the announcement.

KCS is constructing another rail parallel to its existing line from Fairground Street to the North Frontage Road overpass and James &#8221Bubba“ Rainer, public works director, said the city’s utility lines are on the railroad’s right of way.

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Rainer said he thought the lines would be moved several feet.

&#8221Our utilities are in the way of them doing that,“ said Garnet Van Norman, city engineer. &#8221The utilities belong to the city. They’re there under permit, and the permit says if the railroad needs them moved, they’ll give the city a set amount of time to do that and if we can’t do it in that time then the railroad will hire a contractor and bill the city for the cost.“

Van Norman said there is no way the city will be able to get the utilities moved within the limit set by Kansas City Southern because of all the steps the city would have to go through to hire a contractor.

South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman said the city has been in negotiations with KCS to work out the details of the project and North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said he is concerned about the amount of money the plan will cost the city.

&#8221Some of this is kind of shaky,“ Mayfield said.

Van Norman said he thinks the cost proposed by Kansas City Southern is a fair price for the work.

&#8221If the city did it, it would probably cost the same thing but would take a lot longer,“ Van Norman said.

Authorizing execution of an agreement with KCS was tabled pending more talks.

Also Monday, the board voted to adopt a resolution for reconstruction of Adams and Cherry street bridges over Glass Bayou. The Adams Street bridge is near Mundy, and the Cherry Street bridge is at the junction with Fort Hill Drive.

The city previously paid $104,000 to the county to assist with the project, which City Planner Wayne Mansfield said had been in the works for more than two years.

With the resolution, Beauman said the city will begin trying to acquire the property near the bridges that will be needed for the reconstruction.

In other business, the board: