Oak Street residents invited to Thursday meeting for update on improvements

Published 7:53 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2019

City officials are expected to update Oak Street District area residents on improvements in the community at a 6 p.m. meeting Thursday at Mount Calvary Baptist Church, 406 Klein St.

“The purpose of this meeting is to recap the complaints the citizens had the first round,” city housing director Gertrude Young said.

The meeting is the second for the district, which has been designated a neighborhood district under the city’s comprehensive plan.

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The first meeting was held Jan. 17 at Mount Calvary and was called by the Vicksburg Housing Committee to explain the city’s building and zoning codes and discuss improving and beautifying the area and helping elderly residents repair and improve their homes.

City officials also wanted to find out what the residents in the area needed, and the residents responded, describing problems with streetlights, drainage and sewer lines.

Streetlights were a major complaint, with several residents saying their streets were so dark they couldn’t see anything outside. One woman said the streetlights on Pearl Street were out, adding, “It’s so black, you can’t see anything. I keep hitting potholes because I can’t see them at night.”

There were also complaints about drainage problems, sidewalks covered with dirt or overgrown with vegetation, and odor coming from a sewer manhole.

Those problems, Young said, have been handled.

She said North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield, who represents the area, “started right the next day,” working on getting problems corrected.

“All the sidewalks have been cleared of the dirt and exposed the bricks, all the drainage has been checked and all the street lights have been checked,” Young said.

One good thing, she said, is work is under way to improve a derelict building, “And we are seeing more people in the area cleaning up and painting and fixing things up.”

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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