City gets grant for Halls Ferry trail

Published 2:03 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The city of Vicksburg will be getting another walking trail paid for in part by a $99,000 federal Recreational Trails Program grant administered by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks.

The grant, which is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, will cover about 80 percent of the $123,750 project at Hall’s Ferry Park. The city will pay the remaining $24,750. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen authorized Mayor George Flaggs Jr. to sign the grant agreements Friday.

The park’s route will go around the main parking area at Halls Ferry Park, going around the tennis courts and baseball and softball fields.

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“This is a reimbursement grant,” city grants administrator Marcia Weaver said.

“The city will pay for the work and will be reimbursed by the grant.”

She said the city has a $30,000 commitment from My Brother’s Keeper to provide amenities like benches, signs and fitness stations along the trail, and Shape Up Vicksburg has committed to planning the opening ceremonies for the trail and to organize group walks.

Weaver said the park’s completion date had not been set, pending design work and advertising for bids.

“We’ll have to hire an architects to design the trail and prepare the plans and specifications, and then we can go out for bids for construction,” she said.

Halls Ferry is one of six new walking trails planned by the city.

The board Sept. 22 signed a $25,000 Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative grant agreement with the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce Community Fund and the National Park Service, clearing the way to plan five walking trails through the city. The board will provide a $15,000 match of in-kind labor for the project.

The city presently has two walking trail areas, one at City Park and at the Vicksburg National Military Park.

The city park trail was reopened in August after a $25,000 makeover funded by a grant from My Brother’s Keeper Inc., a private, nonprofit organization, with a mission to reduce health problems throughout the U.S. and promote healthy living and the use of accessible public facilities.

The money was used to resurface the quarter-mile track, replacing its gravel covering the track with a smooth surface safe for walking and jogging.

Using the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot downtown as the trailhead, the city will develop five urban walking trails to give residents and visitors a unique look at the city.

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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