Bid accepted to raze Kuhn Memorial Hospital buildings

Published 9:00 pm Monday, June 18, 2018

A Jackson construction company has been hired to raze the Kuhn Memorial Hospital buildings at 1422 Martin Luther King Blvd.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday awarded the bid to remove asbestos from the buildings, take them down and clear the property to M&M Services Inc. of Jackson, which bid $749,990 for the job. The bid, which was the lowest submitted on the project, is $289,990 more than the $460,000 in Brownfields grant money available for the project.

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Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the city will make up the difference using money from different sources, including some of the capital improvements bond issue. “The money is there,” he said.

“Halleluiah!”  Flaggs said after the vote. “We’re going to flatten them.”

He also asked a representative for the contractor if he could have a brick from the building.

“We’ve gone through too much with this to not have a brick from it,” he said. “I’m going to have it engraved.”

M&M was one of seven companies to bid on the Kuhn project, which was split into three parts, with a base bid to remove the asbestos, and two alternate bids, one to take down the building facing Martin Luther King Boulevard, and the other to raze the building on the south end of the property.

One company did not bid on demolishing the two buildings on the property, while another company submitted a bid to remove the building facing Martin Luther Boulevard.

A former city hospital, the city sold Kuhn to the State of Mississippi in 1956 for $5, and the state operated the facility as a charity hospital, initially known as the Vicksburg Charity Hospital, until 1989.

The property had been sold six times for taxes, and city officials tried for at least the past 10 years to get the property owner to clean the property and demolish or renovate the buildings on the site.

The decision to acquire the property came after the board in April approved a resolution adopting and authorizing a 33-page urban renewal plan to first demolish the buildings on the property and clear it, then, begin the process of finding a developer or nonprofit agency to develop it into a multipurpose residential/commercial development with recreational facilities.

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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