City says OK to Main Street campaign

Published 1:03 am Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Vicksburg Main Street Program got the green light from city officials on Friday to begin a branding and marketing campaign to update its 30-year image, but not without a word from the mayor.

“If you all do recall at the last meeting, I refused to vote for this,” said Paul Winfield. “I was not sure if it conflicted with the other (campaign) we paid for. To this day, I don’t necessarily know the scope of the one we paid for many years ago.”

He is referring to a charrette, or a series of meetings conducted in 2002, under the Mayor Laurence Leyens administration. The effort aimed to design a new city blueprint and cost about $250,000.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The charrette was broken into two phases. The first focused on Clay Street, Washington Street, Mission 66 and North and South Frontage roads. Phase II focused on residential neighborhoods.

“I haven’t seen the (charrette) report,” Winfield said. “I’m looking for it, but I’m not going to stand in the way of this endeavor because I do believe in Main Street. We need to do some serious shape-ups in downtown and re-brand or re-invent ourselves.”

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to pay $11,600 to the Mississippi Main Street Association to facilitate a branding and marketing campaign. Greenville, S.C-based Arnett Muldrow & Associates will be in charge of the research.

“I have been wanting to do this now for two years,” Vicksburg Main Street Executive Director Kim Hopkins said after Friday’s city board meeting. “I think it’s time for us to have an updated brand. We need an identity. When people look at us, they’ll know they’re in downtown.”

Hopkins, who has led Main Street for three years, said Arnett Muldrow & Associates will survey local residents and business owners and develop a new logo, website, tag line and promotional items for the agency, which promotes downtown growth.

A report of the findings will be available in about two months.


On the agenda

Meeting Friday, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen:

• OK’d Jan. 25 minutes.

• Recognized employee anniversaries: James Herrin, vehicle maintenance, 15 years; Joseph Alexander, gas department, 10 years; Kenneth Lambert, fire department, five years; and Valerie Harmon, inspection department, five years.

• Proclaimed April 3-11 Junior Auxiliary of Vicksburg Week.

• OK’d a request from Vicksburg Convention Center and Auditorium to close 1600 Mulberry St. in front of the convention center Wednesday through Friday for the Mississippi Organization Association Degree Nursing conference.

• Awarded a sealed bid for a water treatment plant generator to Webster Electric of Meridian for $631,700, the lowest of 10 accepted Monday.

• OK’d a Community Development Block Grant modification for the generator at the water treatment plant.

• OK’d the city clerk to advertise for sealed bids for a tractor/loader/backhoe combination.

• OK’d an agreement with the Vicksburg Warren Baseball Association to use the fields at Halls Ferry Park.

• Received an invitation from Marcus Ward, chief of staff to Alcorn State University President M. Christopher Brown II, to presidential inauguration events April 15-16.

• OK’d a $3,634.41 payment for reimbursement to Vicksburg Warren Athletic Association for their United States Specialty Sports Association fees for the 2011 Little League baseball season.

• Accepted a letter establishing a special assessment and adopted a resolution to cut and clean 1226 Second North St.

• Discussed a dilapidated building and overgrown lot code and authorized Victor Gray-Lewis, director of Buildings and Inspections, to cut, clean and demolish 534 Feld St.

• OK’d a letter of support to the Hal Gordon Foundation, a homebuyer counseling program.

• OK’d a request from the fire department to declare as surplus property the badge of former firefighter Johnathan Hicks, who died March 18, and authorized its sale for $94.

• Re-appointed Christopher Barnett to the Vicksburg Housing Authority board.

• OK’d a $34,047.06 payment to Vicksburg-Warren E-911 for the city’s share of dispatchers’ salaries, matching benefits and insurance for March.

•Placed on the employee driving list: Trent Reynolds, Nikki Hunter, Timothy Thomas, Dione Crump and Eric East, all of the gas department; and John Palmer and Eric Scott, both of the sewer department.

• OK’d letters from Trustmark and BancorpSouth.

• OK’d reports from the following accounts: city sexton, privilege license, mayor and treasurer, marshall, tax collection, delinquent tax collection, detail budget and accept tax settlement.

• OK’d the claims docket. South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman voted against an $11,500 allocation to NRoute, the city’s public transit system.

In closed session, the board:

• Discussed four longevity matters in the vehicle maintenance, gas, fire and inspections departments; three new hires in the fire department; five personnel matters in the gas, street and landscaping departments and in public works; and two possible litigation matters.

The board meets next at 10 a.m. April 4 at City Hall Annex, room 109.