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Grants inch city closer to clearing hospital site

Vicksburg has received two grants totaling $400,000 to be used to clean up the former Kuhn Hospital property.

The grants should pave the way for demolition of the structures on the property and its redevelopment.

The grants are part of $2.89 million received to help with the environmental clean up of nine brownfield projects in Mississippi.

Victor Gray-Lewis, the city’s community development director, said the EPA would be sending documents in the next couple of weeks that will allow the city to accept the grant.

“We will then meet with our environmental contractor and put a plan together. We want to use the money for abatement, meaning removal of any hazardous materials, and demolition. We are very focused on the demolition of the front building because the roof is collapsing on it,” he said.

The city is contracted with PPM Consultants for environmental services.

Another building located in the back of the property “is well built,” Gray-Lewis said, and could be developed for another use.

“We would like to repurpose the property and put it back into production. We have a couple of scenarios laid out, and one is for residential development. The back building could serve as multi-family housing or condominiums,” he said. “It has some asbestos on the floor, but that could all be removed. We have no concrete plan for the back building yet. If we could find a developer willing to come forward and invest their money and work with us, we could help them achieve that goal.”

In addition to the grants specific for the Kuhn property, the city also has a $400,000 grant from the EPA available to use for assessment of environmental issues on commercial properties in Vicksburg.

“The assessment grant is for use citywide and targets potential commercial properties that would need phase one or phase two environmental assessments,” Gray-Lewis said. “If anyone has a commercial property in need of environmental assessment, they can contact me.”

Gray-Lewis can be reached at 601-634-4528 or email victorg@vicksburg.org.