Construction boom adding to city’s take from building permits

Published 11:04 am Friday, March 14, 2014

The value of building permits issued in the City of Vicksburg has steadily climbed over the past four years, increasing by 103.7 percent between fiscal 2010 and the end of fiscal 2013, according to information from the city’s Community Development Division.
“Every year, the value of the permits have gone up,” Community Development Director Victor Gray-Lewis said. The values, he said, include all new residential and commercial construction and renovations, but do not include fees for plumbing and electrical permits.
The city’s building permit fees are based on the value of the construction starting with the first $1,001 in value. For projects $500,000 or more, the fee is $1,660 for the first $500,000 of value and $2 for each additional $1,000.
Gray-Lewis said permit values entering second quarter of fiscal 2014 total $26,046, “and that doesn’t include the River Region construction. Those permits haven’t been issued.”
River Region Medical Center broke ground in late February for a $7.8 million annex that will be built north of the hospital’s campus on U.S. 61 North. Gray-Lewis said the city issues the permits for the hospital’s construction and remodeling projects under an interlocal agreement with Warren County.
Looking at other projects in the area, Gray-Lewis pointed to the renovation of the Aeolian at the corner of Clay and Cherry streets, the ongoing renovation of the old Carr Central High School building and the work downtown on the Wine House, which will house a wine bar and apartments. Another project underway is the Lofts at First National Bank, at the corner of Washington and Clay.
“A lot of construction seems to be going on,” Gray-Lewis said. “With all that work going on, 2014 could top 2013.”
Other projects expected in the next year include the renovation of the Corner Drugstore building, a CVS pharmacy on North Frontage and Halls Ferry roads, and expansion of Golding Barge Co.’s headquarters, first announced in 2012.
Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the increase in permits “shows we’re able to be fiscally responsible and still see the permits for commercial development go up.
“It validates that we’re headed in the right direction and we’re going to keep going,” he said. “What’s very clear to me is I think the business community is interested in Vicksburg and we’re going to continue to sell ourselves to the business community and the world.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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