Port moves forward with plans to upgrade

Published 9:32 pm Monday, September 18, 2017

Warren County port commissioners moved forward with plans to rehabilitate facilities at the Port of Vicksburg Monday, authorizing port director Pablo Diaz to seek proposals for an engineering firm to handle the project’s administration and engineering.

The Port Commission in July received a $908,958 grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation for work at the port. The cost of hiring an engineer to oversee the project is estimated at $86,988.

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The work involves rehabilitating Warehouse 3, one of the port’s warehouses, to provide a dry storage area for the port, which should help increase port business, Diaz said at the time. He said the total cost of the warehouse project is $956,808, adding WATCO, has agreed to pay 10 percent of the project cost not to exceed $100,000.

In return, the commission extended WATCO’s lease on the warehouse three additional years after the project is completed.

Diaz said the project involves work to the warehouse floor, walls, ceiling, lighting and its electrical system. Work is expected to be completed by January 2018. He said a starting date has not been set, pending the completion of signing the grant documents with MDOT.

The Port Commissioners in June 2016 hired Stantec, the county engineers, to work with WATCO to develop a facilities plan.

At the time, former port director Wayne Mansfield said the port had a lot of infrastructure needs.

“We really need to analyze where we are, what we’re spending (money) on, where our revenues are and maximize revenue and minimize cost,” he said.

Diaz worked on the grant soon after he was named the new port director, and delivered it to MDOT.

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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