Main Street meets in new digs: ‘We love it;’ ‘I think it’s great’

Published 11:20 am Friday, February 24, 2012

The Vicksburg Main Street Board of Directors toured Main Street’s third floor offices in the old Levee Street Depot Thursday before sitting down in the boardroom for the first official meeting in the new location.

Main Street moved in Monday. The Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, which has offices on the Depot’s second floor, moved in Feb. 1.

“We love it,” said Main Street assistant director Alaina Lipe. “The view is wonderful and we’ve got a lot of space. They (the contractors) did a good job with the building.”

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“We have more room and storage space and the view is nice, we’re thankful to the city for letting us move in,” executive director Kim Hopkins said.

Main Street and VCVB have 20-year, $500-a-month leases with the city.

On the south end of the depot, Main Street has two offices, a workroom and a conference room that it will share with VCVB.

“I think it’s great,” Main Street chairman Ronnie Bounds said. “I think Kim and Alaina are glad to have a permanent home. The offices look great and there’s space in the conference room. The contractor did a good job.”

“Now people will know where we are,” said board member Alice Hebler. “We’ve moved several places. It’s great to be on one spot. The view here is great, and the offices are beautiful.”

Hopkins said Main Street has had many homes, including the old First Federal Savings & Loan building at Washington and Clay streets, which was sold in 2008 to Florida developer and investor Randy Ashcraft. The building was evacuated after the collapse of the adjacent Thomas Furniture building in 2006.

Other Main Street locations, she said, included the Vicksburg City Hall Annex and the city’s safety building, both on Walnut Street.

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Nov. 22 approved a $105,660 change order with Kenneth R. Thompson Jr. Builder of Greenwood, the depot renovation contractor, to build the Main Street offices.

Main Street’s offices were the final renovation project for the depot.

Work on the depot restoration began in 2010 and was halted in the spring when the Mississippi River dumped 4 feet of water into the building as it reached record heights in Vicksburg, cresting on May 19 at 57.1, 14.1 feet above flood stage.

The depot became the backdrop for media coverage during the flood, and its restoration resumed in June.

The flood forced two amendments to the original contract to repair flood damage. The board in September approved a $33,000 amendment to repair flood damage that was not covered by the contractor’s insurance. In August, it approved a $23,000 supplemental agreement with Kenneth R. Thompson Jr. to repair flood damage to the depot that was not covered under the original agreement.

City officials had filed claims with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for reimbursement for the repairs.

In other action, the board:

• Was told by vice chairman Kristen Meehan that a marketing manager and an assistant manager for the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market are expected to be hired today by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. The board met at 10 a.m.

She said the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market will open for Riverfest, and will have its official opening the first week in May. It will remain open until the last weekend in July.

• Approved purchasing 20 new banners with Main Street’s new logo for about $2,500. Hopkins said she will be looking for private sponsors to purchase more banners at a later date.

• Learned AmeriCorps will provide workers for beautification projects in the Downtown District and for events like RiverFest.