Pressure of developing quality sportsplex moves to board, committee

Published 7:37 am Thursday, July 13, 2017

In less than three months, the city of Vicksburg’s special 2 percent tax to fund construction of the proposed sports complex goes into effect.

Based on the $1.18 million average the 1 percent Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau brought in over the past five years, the sports complex tax could bring in more than $2 million per year, and while local residents will pay the extra amount when they eat at local restaurants, the bulk of the tax will be paid by the visitors who come to our city to visit attractions like the Vicksburg National Military Park and will stay in our hotels and eat in our restaurants.

An indication how much the tax could bring in will come in December, when the first disbursement from the state for October collections is received, and will start a tidy reserve for the project when the first shovel-full of earth is turned.

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And it’s up to the city to make sure that dirt is turned in a timely manner.

The vote for the tax in the June 6 referendum told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen the community wants a sports complex. Now the board will have to move ahead in a deliberate manner to get the project underway.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. has taken the first step in appointing a committee to oversee the design and development of the sports complex, and the committee will have to move forward in a timely manner to get a design approved, work with the board to advertise for bids, hire a contractor and then make sure that contractor stays on time and on budget.

The committee and the city both have to make sure, as Alderman Michael Mayfield so often says, that all the “Is” are dotted and all the “Ts” are crossed. That means, because the Fisher Ferry property is in a floodplain, that all the proper permits are applied for and approved before work begins.

The board made the correct move when it decided to fund the sports complex project with a special sales tax, and we hope our officials continue making the correct moves as this project goes along.

The residents have put their faith and their pocketbooks in their leaders.

They deserve a project worthy of their faith and confidence, and should expect no less.