City to use $9M-plus on projects

Published 8:00 pm Monday, March 26, 2018

The combination of paving, demolition of the Kemp Bottom Road bridge and relocating city utilities along South Frontage Road takes up the largest share of the second draw of capital improvement bond funds approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in 2015.

The board in 2016 used $9.6 million of the more than $18 million bond issue to pave city streets, public parking lots, roads in Cedar Hill Cemetery, install lighting upgrades at Bazinski and Halls Ferry Park, build additional tennis courts at Halls Ferry, and make improvements to city buildings.

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According to a breakdown of the projects, the city will use $9.07 million of the second $9.6 million draw, leaving $524,626 remaining for other work.

Of that total, $4.316 million will go for paving, the bridge demolition and utilities relocation.

“We ought to be able to go to work on everything (projects),” Mayor George Flaggs said. “What we’ve done in the first phase was proof (of the city’s plans). I think the good news is when we do this, we give hope to the community.”

Paving in the North Ward totals $2 million to pave parts of Hildegard Street, Maxwell Street, Wabash Avenue, Sky Farm Avenue, Hugo Street, Irene Street, Scenic Drive, Ford Road in Waltersville Estates, Pearl Street, First North Street and Washington Street.

“These are streets where we have fixed problems with the utilities under the road,” North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said. “These streets were rutted and sinking; we went in and found the broken and leaking lines and fixed them, now we’re ready to pave those sections.”

The Washington Street paving will be delayed pending completion of the auxiliary waterline project, and drainage work on North Washington.

A total of $1.50 million is dedicated for paving in the South Ward. South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour said sections of Halls Ferry Road and Pemberton Square Boulevard will be paved with the money.

“We’re going to finish the paving on Halls Ferry, and do all of Pemberton,” Monsour said. “Pemberton is so worn and patched over. It needs to be resurfaced.”

The board has allocated $115,000 for the demolition of the Kemp Bottom Road bridge. The board March 21 accepted the $108,466 bid of Anderson Contracting LLC of Yazoo City to remove the bridge.

The city is splitting the cost of relocating the utility lines with the state. The capital improvements budget includes $671,811 for the city’s share of moving the water, gas and sewer lines on South Frontage Road. Hemphill Construction Friday submitted a bid of $1.576 million to do the work.

The bid was the only one received on the project, which is the final step before the state can connect the east and west ends of South Frontage Road.

Other major items in the budget are $1 million for improvements in the Kings community and $4 million for parks and recreation.

The parks and recreation budget includes $640,000 for the farmers’ market pavilion at the corner of Washington and Jackson streets. $740,000 for the pro shop at the Halls Ferry Park tennis courts, $550,000 for the new splash pad at Catfish Row, and $300,000 for improvements to the city’s riverfront.

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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