Main Street board to vote on temporary office move

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vicksburg Main Street Program officials will decide next week whether to make a temporary move to Washington Street while they await the completion of renovations at their future home in the Levee Street Depot.

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Wednesday signed off on Main Street’s move to 1309 Washington St., formerly home to the Chocolate Derby. However, the Main Street Board of Directors must approve the move, and executive director Kim Hopkins said they will vote on it at a special-called meeting Tuesday morning.

“We’ve been trying to do this for about a year now, and if it’s approved by the board we should be able to be in the new downtown location by the first of January,” Hopkins said. 

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Main Street has been looking for a permanent home since the 2006 collapse of a Clay Street building near its office that forced its directors to take up temporary residence elsewhere. The program’s two offices were briefly located on Washington Street immediately following the collapse, but for more than two years have been located in the City Hall Annex on Walnut Street.

“We’re really hard to find right now. We’re just so cramped in the small space we have, and we’ve had to store our stuff all over the place,” said Hopkins. “It will be nice to get back into a building of our own, and it will be much easier for tourists and our members to access us.”

Main Street has also been temporarily kicked out of its normal meeting room in the City Hall Annex, located behind the room where the mayor and aldermen hold their meetings.

Mayor Paul Winfield confirmed that room is being used as a temporary storage site for at least some of the thousands of dollars of equipment seized in October by the state auditor’s office from the home of Thomas “Barry” Graham, the TV23 manager who has been on permanent leave without pay since the seizure. Graham has yet to be arrested or charged with any crime, and it is not clear when that room will become available again.

“The state auditor’s office is still in the process of doing their investigation. I anticipate them coming out with their findings in a very short period of time,” said Winfield.

If approved by the Main Street board, Hopkins said the program will pay roughly $650 per month, including utilities, to rent the space at 1309 Washington St. Winfield said he has no specific plans for the two offices that would be opened up in the City Hall Annex by the move, but added the extra space will not go unused for long.

“Right now, we have people working on top of one another over there,” the mayor said.

Vicksburg Main Street is celebrating 25 years this year, and is a member of the national program promoting downtown districts across the country. It organizes and sponsors downtown events, such as holiday parades and a farmers market, and is an advocate for downtown residents and businesses. It is funded through memberships and a special downtown tax on commercial properties.

Along with a transportation museum and the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, Main Street is set to move into the Levee Street Depot when renovations are complete. Winfield said the architectural plans have been submitted and progress continues.

Hopkins said Main Street anticipates being able to move into the depot building in about 18 months.

Contact Steve Sanoski at