City approves contract to pave emergency road

Published 9:44 am Friday, August 7, 2015

The Klein Street extension, an emergency road from Klein Street that will intersect with Depot Street could be finished by mid-September, city officials said.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday authorized Mayor George Flaggs Jr. to sign an agreement with Riverside Construction Co. of Vicksburg to do the work. Riverside was the low bidder on the project with $96,625. Riverside’s bid and the $98,050 bid from Central Asphalt, also of Vicksburg, were both under the projected cost of the project, Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman said July 9, when the bids were taken under advisement.

The project will lead to the closing of the Speed Street railroad crossing.

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“They’re already out there working,” Van Norman said Thursday.

Under the contract, Riverside will pave the emergency road, which will run along the east side of the Kansas City Southern switchyard from Klein Street to Depot Street. The fence will separate the road from the switchyard. KCS requested the fence as part of the agreement to let the city use a portion of the yard’s eastern edge.

The road is part of a compromise approved in April 2014 between the city and the railroad, and will serve as an emergency outlet for people on the west side of Pearl Street across the tracks, allowing KCS to close the Speed Street crossing north of the street’s intersection with Pearl Street.

Closing the crossing will create a “quiet zone” along Pearl Street, where several bed-and-breakfasts are located.

City officials have discussed closing the Speed Street crossing since 2003. It has been deemed a safety hazard by the city, because emergency vehicles have problems negotiating the crossing to get to calls on the west side.

The residents on both sides of the tracks gave their opinions on the crossing at an October 2014 public hearing on the board’s plans to close it.

The board took the closing under advisement, and city officials began meeting with KCS representatives to discuss a solution.

In other action, the board:

• Recognized the following employees on their anniversaries: James Moore, gas department, 10 years, and Jerrad Gleese, building maintenance, five years.

• Took under advisement the following bids: Custom Products of Flowood for traffic management equipment; Miller Materials Inc. and Hammett Gravel of Lexington for sand and gravel. All bids were by line item.

• Approved a request from Pigs-in-Flight Children’s Museum to block off streets for its inaugural Just 4 Kids Run, Walk and Stroll Aug. 28 from 9 to 11 a.m.

• Adopted the following budget amendments: transfer $1,350 from TV23 supplies and $4,400 from TV23 services to TV23 capital computer equipment for new cameras; $1,000 from the accounting department supplies and expenses account to the department’s accounting services for additional office supplies; and transfer a total of $9,900 from the federal grants account to city court contractor services for the fiscal 2015 Violence Against Women Grant.

• Approved liens on the following properties for cutting and cleaning: 2414 Halls Ferry Road, Jean Byrd c/o Donielle Byrd, $312.50; 1600 Lane St., Fred B. and Ethel Carter, $126.25; 2604 Drummond St., David Clark, $138.75; 711 Dabney St., Connie Thomas, et al, $126.25; 1355 Warrenton Road, Albertha Kaiser, $126.25; lot on Cottage Row Drive, Hugh D. and Olivia Major, $126.25; 125 Stillwater Drive, Willie Shaw Jr., $126.25; properties owned by the State of Mississippi: 2023 Oak St., 126.25, 2503 Togo St., $126.25, and 519 Fairgrounds St., $143.75; 2006 Military Ave., Keyshaun Stann, $163.75.

• Authorized Community Development Director Victor Grey-Lewis to clean the following property: 1408 Bowmar, 105 Emily Drive, 219 Enchanted Drive, 3717 Parkview St. and lot on Patton Street. The board approved a 30-day extension for the property owner at 1706 Military Ave.

• Approved $100 for a banner advertising the city at Warren Central High School girls basketball games.

• Approved $500 for an ad promoting the city in the program for the Mississippi Minority Business Alliance Inc. Power Luncheon Sept. 3 in Jackson.

• Approved paying $4,280.54 to the Vicksburg-Tallulah Regional Airport for the city’s share of airport expenses.

• Approved the claims docket.

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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