Bids sought for Locust Street lot

Published 10:18 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A small, vacant lot redeemed in 2004 by the city from the Mississippi Secretary of State will soon be going up for sale to highest bidder.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen is expected Wednesday to authorize City Clerk Walter Osborne to advertise the lot sale. Any bids will be opened in early March, City Attorney Nancy Thomas said.

“Someone called and was interested in the lot,” Thomas said. “So we are putting it out for bid.”

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The property was acquired by the state sometime before 2004 after it was not redeemed at a county tax sale. According to Warren County land records, the city acquired the lot in March 2004, during the administration of former Mayor Laurence Leyens.

Neither Thomas, nor city housing director Gertrude Young, who was an alderwoman at the time, could say why the city got the property.

Leyens also could not remember.

“Generally, the only time we did that is if somebody wanted the property and we wanted to get it back on the tax rolls,” he said. “That was our general deal. We wanted to get it back in the private sector and back on the tax rolls.

“There were only two reasons we would take property back from the state. One was that you lived next to the empty lot and you were willing to take it and get it back on the tax rolls and were going to maintain it. The second is the state never maintained property and it was really a mess and it was causing trouble, and we would take it so we could go ahead and do maintenance on it.”

At the time, Leyens said, the state did not auction off forfeited property as it does now.

“We would have to redeem it, and then we would turn around and take sealed bids,” he said. “But that piece of property doesn’t stick out as significant.”


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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