Mayor Flaggs hosts meeting with members of the community

Published 7:22 pm Thursday, August 2, 2018

The future of the Kuhn Hospital property, traffic on Halls Ferry Road and complaints about unsynchronized traffic signals were among the issues discussed when Mayor George Flaggs Jr. met with residents Wednesday at the City Hall Annex.

The mayor said the contract has been approved to raze the buildings on the Kuhn property on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and clear the site to make way for a residential/commercial and recreation development. He did not, however, say when the demolition will begin.

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“We’re going to take it completely down,” he said. “We’re going to make it flat.”

He said the city has received proposals from three developers to develop the site. “I have every intention to make it residential, retail and recreation,” he said. “We have every intention of using every tax credit and tax incentive that we can to develop that. I believe once we develop that site, it will be a model for Martin Luther King.”

Several people had raised concerns about traffic on Halls Ferry Road, asking Flaggs why the city has not considered a bypass/access road to reduce traffic on the road, especially with the construction of the Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi on Fisher Ferry Road south of its intersection with Halls Ferry.

Sports complex road

Halls Ferry Road resident Jane Hanes asked Flaggs why the city has not built a separate access road to the sports complex.

“I sit in my driveway sometimes 10 minutes during certain times of the day to get out of my driveway,” she said. “Then we get these notices from the tax assessor that our property has been devalued, mine approximately 11 percent.”

She said people are selling their property at a loss because they would not be able to get on Halls Ferry because of traffic from the sports complex.

Flaggs said the bypass road, which would help pull traffic off Halls Ferry and provide another access to the sports complex, has been put on hold because of opposition from people on Dana Road, where the proposed road would start. He said the sports complex had no effect on property values.

“They tarred and feathered me,” he said, adding the opposition was coming from people who lived in the county. He said an engineering firm has been selected for the road, “But we haven’t gone forward because there was so much resistance we decided to just wait.

“The sports complex has no effect in traffic on Halls Ferry right now, because the sports complex won’t open until February,” he said. “I would love to give you an access road. I think it’s necessary But the holdup of any additional road in that area is people who live in the county on Dana Road who don’t want any type of road in there.”

Hanes accused Flaggs of sneaking the sports complex in, saying, “You led us to believe there would be an access road in there.”

Traffic signals

Another resident raised questions about the city’s traffic signals, saying some of the lights were creating problems with traffic.

Flaggs said the city was working to improve the synchronization of the traffic signals. He said problems on Halls Ferry Road were caused when the synchronizers for the lights were relocated when the road was paved and reinstalled. He said the problems across town were being fixed.

The mayor also answered several questions about grass in Interstate 20 and U.S. 61 North and South, saying he was working on an agreement with Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall to cut grass on U.S. 61 North and South and some areas on I-20.

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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