A lot of positives for city leaders and us

Published 9:34 pm Saturday, July 7, 2018

Every community has its own set of issues and obstacles to overcome. A common issue among most every community is to how to provide services, while also keeping taxes low. Vicksburg is no different in this regard, and the current administration is at least making efforts to curb rising taxes while developing revenue opportunities to maintain the city coffers.

This week, Mayor George Flaggs Jr., touted the accomplishments made over the past year by the current city leaders. Although some will argue not enough is being done to combat issues like crime and jobs, it’s hard to argue that Flaggs and his administration are not putting forth the effort.

We won’t go so far as to use the word “phenomenal,” but they are deserving of a pat on the back.

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Since Flaggs has been mayor, the city has not raised taxes, but has found alternative ways of being fiscally responsible and providing raises without laying off city employees, while also creating jobs.

A special two percent sales tax on hotel room rentals and food and beverage sales at restaurants voted upon by more than 60 percent of those who cast ballots will be used to construct and operate a new sports complex. The new facility will provide 10 full-time employees, 80 part-time/seasonal employees, 100 new construction positions, and an estimated 338 new jobs created by economic impact at capacity.

The long awaited Margaritaville Resort is now open and providing visitors and locals with family entertainment – something that has been severely lacking in The River City – while also creating up to 170 new jobs.

Vicksburg Forest Products has taken over ownership of the former Anderson-Tully site with plans to bring back 125 of the 150 jobs lost when the mill closed.

Another 50 jobs are expected to be created when Industrial Wood Products is in full operation with its wood manufacturing company.

Over the past year, there have been 14 ribbon cuttings for new businesses, as well as nine new building permits for residential structures and five new building permits for commercial structures.

Downtown is busier now than it has been in years and a Riverfront Redevelopment Committee created last year will hold a workshop Monday in the Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum to update a design concept from the architectural firm hired to help with the project. It’s all part of a 10-year “game changer’ capital improvement master plan created by Flaggs and the administration to address issues such as infrastructure, job creation, tourism, public safety and reliable high-speed broad band internet.

Vicksburg isn’t perfect, but it does appear to be headed in the right direction.