Supervisors to review bids for Kings Point Ferry repairs

Published 9:36 am Friday, March 17, 2017

Warren County supervisors are going to make another try to fix the Kings Point Ferry.

The supervisors Monday are expected to open bids to repair the ferry, which is the only public access to the Kings Point area since construction of the Yazoo Diversion Canal in 1903 cut it off from the mainland of Warren County.

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The island is made up mostly of hunting camps and timber farming. The ferry runs daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. carrying hunters and workers across the canal.
“The ferry is operating,” Board of Supervisors president Richard George said. “We had to dry dock it for a little bit to let the prospective bidders check out the undercarriage.”

Warren County must maintain the ferry, and has $252,000 for the project — $216,900 of that is federal and state funds. The work includes push boat engine assemblies, gearbox engine assemblies, propeller assemblies, sandblasting and painting.

Part of the problem, George said, is the amount of time the ferry is out of the water for service.

The board in August rescinded a $249,725 contract with Big River Shipbuilders after learning the amount of time necessary to make the parts for the ferry would keep it out of the water during most of the island’s peak seasons.

“It’s just a unique situation,” George said. “We need for it to be repaired and to utilize the funds, so we have to be concerned how long and when it’s out of service, so it’s not easy.

“The peak use is obviously deer season and turkey season, and peak fishing season — it is more important then than other times of the year, and of course high water affects it.”

The present boat was purchased for about $600,000 in June 2005. A new motor financed with federal highway money was to be installed in 2015. The ferry was damaged in February 2006 when a ramp on the ferry broke away and sank in the canal when the vessel pulled away from Kings Point Island after dropping off a vehicle.

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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