Flaggs: Too much litter in Vicksburg

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. took a weekend drive around Vicksburg and came back complaining about the trashy scenery and ready to go to war against litter and trash in the city.
Talking about the problem before Monday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Flaggs said he was calling a “summit” meeting of city officials, officials with Waste Management, which has the solid waste collection contract with the city, and local garden clubs for 1:30 p.m. Thursday in his office “and let’s talk about making March the month we clean up the city and keep it clean.”
“There’s no reason why the City of Vicksburg ought look like a dump like it did this weekend,” he said.
“I went all over the city,” he said. “I burned up a lot of gas in that Tahoe (his city vehicle). I was not pleased with the debris and trash in some areas, in fact, on Cherry Street, the debris had been over there for two weeks.”
Inside the city, a code enforcement court hears cases of illegal dumping. Fines can be up to $1,000. In the county, where no building code or land use regulation exists, the process is reliant on reports from the public. Fines range from $100 to $500.
Flaggs said after the meeting he also saw problems along Levee Street, where he saw trash around the murals, and trash problems at the River Front, Catfish Row, in the coffer dam that once held the Grand Station Casino barge, and on Bowmar Avenue.
One aspect of the litter problem may soon be addressed. The board on Monday approved an agreement with the Mississippi Department of Transportation to pickup trash along state highway rights of way. The agreement, which was the result of meetings between South Ward Aldermen Willis Thompson and MDOT officials, allows to city’s community service workers to collect litter and trash on U.S. 1 North and South and along Interstate 20, U.S. 80 and the frontage roads inside the city four times a year during daylight.
Police Chief Walter Armstrong will serve as contact person for the City of Vicksburg and will oversee the program. MDOT will provide safety clothing, supplies and advisory traffic signs and collect and dispose of the bags of trash.

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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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