Auxiliary waterline a necessity for city

Published 9:32 pm Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Monday’s announcement of an additional $3 million for the city’s 592 auxiliary waterline project is welcome news for a very important project for the city and further proof that Mayor George Flaggs Jr.’s trips to Washington, D.C., and Jackson seeking money for city projects have not been in vain.

Since taking office five years ago, Flaggs has made regular trips to Washington, outside of the annual Washington trip by city and county officials, to meet with the state’s congressional delegation and discuss funding for various projects in the city. He’s also made regular trips to Jackson seeking funding for projects.

The Jackson trips have produced money for the South Frontage Road extension connecting the east and west ends of South Frontage Road and opening a straight route to the Outlets of Vicksburg. He has also secured money for a port feasibility study and for other city projects.

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“I just believe you have to have relationships with your federal and state delegations, if you want to be successful,” the Mayor said, adding he and other city officials will be traveling to Washington in February to meet with the state’s delegation.

“I believe it’s imperative you have a relationship with people in government,” he said.

And getting the extra $3 million for the 592 project is a major accomplishment. It means the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers grant for the estimated $5 million project has increased from $2.45 million to $5.45 million. It also means the city won’t be forced to piecemeal the project over time.

“We had under contract about $2-something million to do only half of it, because we decided that we didn’t want to let a contract out without having money in the bank,” Flaggs said. “Now, because of the appropriation, we’re going to stop the bids and we’re going to redo the bids so we can do the full waterline project.”

How important is this new auxiliary line to the city? One only has to go back to the summer of 2017, when a valve broke on the city’s mainline forcing officials to shut off the city’s water system and place the city under a boil water notice for several days.

If Vicksburg is to become the city we want it to be, an auxiliary waterline is a necessity. It has been a dream. The $3 million makes it reality.