New Heritage Guild aims to help beautify areas of city

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Repairing properties along Bowmar and Grove streets is a goal that has been set by the Heritage Guild of Vicksburg and Warren County — a local organization founded by seven women who are dedicated to preserving properties and historic places in the River City.

On Monday, the group held an introductory meeting and presentation at the Vicksburg Auditorium to present their vision. More than 100 people were in attendance.

Joyce Clingan, one of the founding members of the non-profit organization, opened the meeting by giving an overview of the Heritage Guild’s objectives, which has included doing research into what other cities are doing across the country for their vacant and blighted neighborhoods.

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“We are trying to transplant what Vicksburg Main Street is doing into our neighborhoods,” Clingan said.

The guild, Clingan added is not to infringe on any other group, but to aid in preserving historical structures and neighborhood revitalization.

Bowmar and Grove streets were chosen as the guild’s first project since both have schools.

“We are working with the City and the Vicksburg School District to make the areas around the schools as beautiful as the inside.”

The hope is that by making the areas around the schools more attractive, young families will be impressed and attracted to Vicksburg, Clingan said.

Keri Coumanis, the assistant city attorney for the City of Mobile had been invited by the Heritage Guild to speak at Monday’s meeting on how her city has been able to get people back into vacant and dilapidated homes, so the city would not have to continue to use tax dollars to maintain the property.

In a power point presentation, Coumanis presented pictures of the building that had been revitalized in Mobile and explained how these homes are making areas vital again.

In addition to serving as the assistant city attorney, Coumanis also manages the selection, acquisition and disposition of theses properties for the City of Mobile’s “Revolving Funds and Neighborhood Renewal” program, and she handles all legal work necessary to attain marketable and clear title for properties held in the City’s land bank,

In order for Vicksburg to obtain clear title for properties that are abandoned, Clingan said legislation would need to be implemented in order to have quiet titles available.

A quiet title is a legal mechanism that makes it possible to grant a clear title to a single owner when there is the potential for several different claims to ownership.

This, Coumanis said, makes it easier for a developer to purchase the property and added, “Everything is sold with a rehabilitation agreement.”

For anyone interested in becoming involved with the Heritage Guild of Vicksburg & Warren County email

The group also meets weekly at 12:30 p.m. Mondays at Walnut Hills.

“Just email to let us know you are coming,” Clingan said.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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