Public meetings set for open containers, Kings improvements

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

City officials will be looking for comments during public meetings Wednesday and Thursday about the potential of open containers downtown and making improvements in the Kings community.

Today, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. meets with downtown merchants at the City Hall Annex at 5:30 p.m. to discuss allowing people to walk in specific areas downtown with open containers holding alcoholic beverages.

The meeting is also open for the public to voice their opinions.

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Vicksburg is one of 14 cities in the state allowed to have a “leisure and recreation district” in the city that allows people to walk out of a restaurant or bar carrying an open container in a designated part of the city as a way to attract more restaurants downtown.

The special district is a provision of the state’s alcohol beverage regulations that were passed during the 2016 session of the Legislature.

When the board passed a resolution in January seeking inclusion in the provision, Flaggs said the special district could be somewhere between Jackson and Veto streets, adding, “It’s something the administration has to look at.”

“I want to get some input from them (the merchants); what they’d like to see,” he said June 10 when he announced plans for the meeting. “I’ve got some ideas, like having it just on the bricks. I’ve got an idea of having a special cup — you’ve got to have a special cup only so the police can identify the cup you’re using — and the different times. I might not do it except on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“I’m going to throw that out just to see what they’re thinking; I’m not going to do it without their input. We’re not going to do anything without their input.”

Thursday, Flaggs and North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield will meet with Kings community residents at 6 p.m. at the Kings Community Empowerment Center on R.L. Chase Circle. In his inauguration speech, Flaggs said he was dedicating $1 million from the second draw of an $18 million bond issue to making improvements in Kings. “I’m going to let them tell us what they want us to do,” he said. “One thing we will not do is buy land.” Mayfield, who represents the area, said he has been working on two projects to improve drainage in Kings, which is prone to flash flooding and mudslides during heavy rains.

“I think they’ll (the residents) give us some good ideas,” he said.

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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