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Repairs to city hall come in over bid

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. had one comment after the city received bids for work on City Hall.

“Now the only problem is finding the money.”

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday received two bids for renovations to the 116-year-old building. Both were over the $300,000 budget for the project, which involves repairing, restoring and repainting the building’s windows, repairing a rear door and doing some masonry work on the building.

Pike Construction of Brookhaven bid $567,000 on the project, while Lathan Construction Co. of Mobile, Alabama, bid $389,460. The bids were taken under advisement by the board, which is expected to make a decision when it meets April 25.

The City Hall renovations are part of the city’s capital improvements bond issue.

The board in 2015 authorized Flaggs to sign a $30,000 contract with Belinda Stewart Architects of Eupora, a company that specializes in restoring historic buildings, to do an analysis of City Hall’s windows and doors and other features for renovations to the building, which was built in 1902. City Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Mississippi State Historic Landmark.

Money for the renovations is included in the second $9 million capital improvements bond issue. The original budget for the work was $375,000, but was reduced to $300,000 under the new budget.

In another matter, the board learned plans are in the works to resolve a drainage problem affecting the Tate Family Cemetery at the corner of South Frontage Road and Cypress Center Drive.

Community development director Victor Grey-Lewis said he and officials with the Mississippi Department of Transportation met with representatives for I-20 LLC, which owns property behind Cowboy Maloney on South Frontage Road.

Grey-Lewis said I-20 LLC has agreed to hire a local engineering firm to develop plans to remove an obstruction in a creek that runs on their property behind Cowboy Maloney. The obstruction prevents water from draining during rains, causing it to back up on the cemetery. The board agreed to give the company 30 days to get the plan ready.

Once the water is drained and the property dries, Flaggs said, the city will get the grass cut in the cemetery.

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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