New sound system on way to VCC

Published 12:00 pm Sunday, April 27, 2014

Age and use has exhausted the sound system at the Vicksburg Convention Center, rendering it useless and forcing the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to take immediate steps to replace it.

The board Friday declared an emergency to purchase a new system for the 17-year-old convention center, clearing the way for center officials to get estimates and install a new system. According to a facilities report presented Wednesday to the convention center’s Advisory Board, a preliminary estimate put the cost of a new system at $70,000.

“This is the original sound system, it’s 17 years old and we can no longer get parts for it,” convention center executive director Annette Kirklin said. “It can’t be repaired and fixed anymore.”

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The system’s condition, Kirklin said, not only makes it difficult to have programs at the convention center, “we can’t warn our employees if there’s an emergency, like a fire.”

She said the new system would be an upgrade, adding it will have sound panels, which will enhance its performance in the center’s exhibit hall.

In another matter, the board approved seeking two state grants.

The board authorized applying for a $5,000 Mississippi Development Authority tourism grant to show Vicksburg artist H.C. Porter’s “Blues @ Home: Mississippi’s Living Blues Legends,” a collection of 30 portraits of Mississippi living blues legends in their at-home settings painted by Porter and accompanied by oral histories.

The grant will cover 100 percent of the cost of presenting the exhibit. No date was given when the exhibit would be presented.

Also authorized was an application to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to help fund construction of new tennis courts at the city’s Halls Ferry Park. The grant will pay 50 percent of the estimated $100,000 project cost with the city paying the other half.

South Ward Alderman Willis Thompson said the extra courts would enable the city to compete for more tennis tournaments.

A similar grant was used in 2012 to help fund construction of the city’s skate park at City Park, which opened in June 2013.

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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