City hires Wooten as retail consultant

Published 7:01 pm Thursday, April 4, 2019

When Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and South Ward Aldermen Alex Monsour go to a national retail conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, in May with Partnership executive director Pablo Diaz to meet with potential retail businesses, they will have a consultant with them.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday approved a $2,111 contract with Realtor and developer Mary Jane Wooten to serve as a consultant to the city for attracting potential retail businesses to the city.

“The Recon Conference is May 19-22 in Las Vegas; it’s where all the retail businesses come together,” Diaz said. “The city has gone to it every year. This year we are also going to attend.”

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According to the agreement, Wooten “shall work with the mayor, department of community development and other consultants to assist in soliciting potential retail developments, franchise opportunities and other retail opportunities to locate in Vicksburg.”

The contract, Flaggs said, will cover Wooten’s expenses while at the three-day conference, adding she will work with him and Monsour to promote the city. He said the contract was developed through his office for her to act as his adviser.

“The retail people want to hear something about the vision of the city,” Flaggs said. “We (he and Monsour) can tell them that. Mary Jane can quantify the demographics and all that.”

“We’re trying to fill these empty buildings we have in town,” Wooten said.

She said her real estate background allows her to provide information on the potential markets in the city and available properties, including building dimensions and information about rent and property values.

In another matter, the board approved hiring Stantec for an amount not to exceed $3,200 to perform a traffic study on Haining Road to determine if the speed should be reduced on the road that runs from North Washington Street to the Port of Vicksburg.

Flaggs said the owners and managers of the plants and businesses along the road approached him about reducing the speed limit and adding more traffic signs on the road. He said there have been three traffic fatalities on the road, which has 45 mph speed limit.

“In order for us to reduce the speed on that road, you have to provide a study,” he said, adding to plan is to reduce the speed limit on the road to 30 and stripe the road with double yellow stripes to prevent people from passing on the road.

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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