New group to focus on riverfront development

Published 11:18 pm Saturday, July 8, 2017

Changes could be coming to the waterfront in downtown Vicksburg in the near future.

During Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. appointed 20 members to the newly formed Riverfront redevelopment committee who will be charged with making recommendations on how to the improve the waterfront area. 

“My thing going forward is that people I’ve recognized to have a passion and commitment to the future of Vicksburg, that is who I am selecting,” Flaggs said. “What I would like to see is for them to make some cost effective recommendations as to how we can approve the waterfront for the tourist traffic in that area.”

The committee includes representative from industries and groups throughout Vicksburg including a member of the heritage guild, representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and ERDC and the president of the Chamber of Commerce.

Kim Hopkins, the executive director of Vicksburg Main Street, was named chairman of the committee by Flaggs. She said she hopes to have the first meeting in the next couple of weeks.

“It is very important,” Hopkins said of the waterfront. “The tourist that we have coming in to the waterfront, not only from the boats, but also looking at the murals, and being at Catfish Row, that is the entranceway to downtown and the city.”

Hopkins and Flaggs both said they hope to see a floating dock installed at the riverfront, and Hopkins also had ideas related to beautification.

“Main Street has been talking about the waterfront for a while and things that need to be improved,” Hopkins said. “We’ve thrown some things around that we would like to see happen at the waterfront. One thing we would like to see, if possible, is lights put up on the floodwall and then the floodwall itself needs to be washed and new benches.”

Hopkins said that the first step in the process will be looking at studies that have been done on the waterfront and seeing which ideas the committee likes and what can still be implemented.

“Some things are little, but once the committee gets together we will look at all the studies that have been made and try to see what all needs to be done,” Hopkins said.

The other 19 members of the committee are:

• Mark Buys, President of the Vicksburg/Warren County Chamber of Commerce

• Ashley Gatian, Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau

• Member of the Vicksburg Beautification Committee

• Victor Gray-Lewis, Director of the City of Vicksburg Community Development Department

•  Annette Kirklin, executive director of the Vicksburg Convention Center

• Member of the Kings Neighborhood Association

• Member of the Vicksburg/Warren County Realtors Association

• Col. Michael Derosier, Commander U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District

• Member of Blacks in Government

• Member of the Heritage Guild of Vicksburg and Warren County

• Member of the Historic District

• Jeff Richardson, City of Vicksburg Landscaping Department

• Tim Reeves, editor of The Vicksburg Post

• Austin Golding, Golding Barge

• Mary Jane Wooten, Downtown developer

• Dr. Jim Lewis, ERDC Coastal and Hydraulics Lab

• Barbara Willingham, Downtown merchant

• Stuart Green, Dimco

• Wayne Stirgus