City officials approve budget amendments

Published 6:35 pm Friday, December 8, 2017

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Friday approved budget amendments totaling $1.87 million for ongoing city projects.

The amendments moved money from the general fund to the following projects: $700,000 for a new pro shop for the Halls Ferry Park tennis courts, $450,000 for a farmers’ market pavilion, $120,000 for Mission 66 Park, $300,000 to demolish the Kemp Bottom Road bridge and $300,000 for repairs to City Hall.

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All the projects are included in the second draw of about $9 million from the $18 million bond issue draw, Mayor George Flaggs said, adding all the contracts have been approved.

The general fund will be reimbursed when the city gets the second draw of the $18 million capital improvements bond issue.

“The reason we did this is so we wouldn’t have any lag time on starting those projects between now and when the bond money comes in,” he said. “The bond money won’t be in until mid-February.”

He said the work at Halls Ferry involves improvements to the pro shop and the restrooms at the tennis courts, which were expanded from10 to 14 courts in the spring.

The farmers’ market pavilion will be built at the city’s property at the corner of Washington and Jackson streets, where the annual market is held. Flaggs also sees the pavilion being used as a venue for other events, such as concerts.

The board opened bids for the pavilion on July, but rejected them because they were over the project’s then $550,000 budget. The project was redesigned and its budget reduced to $450,000.

Flaggs said the $120,000 for Mission 66 Park is for a pavilion with restrooms and to resurface the park’s basketball court. The park is the home of the Fuzzy Johnson Baseball League.

The city has hired Stantec Engineers to design the demolition of the Kemp Bottom Road bridge, which collapsed July 28. The bridge was closed to traffic July 25, after erosion problems caused by the 2011 spring Mississippi River flood made it unstable.

Repairs to City Hall involve improvements to the building’s exterior, including work on the 115-year-old building’s windows and doors.

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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