Growth is a nice problem to have

Published 5:57 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The city of Vicksburg has an interesting problem on its hands. And, it’s a nice problem to have.

Over the past few years, the city of Vicksburg and Warren County have seen growth in many areas of the economy and in the community. While many marks fall below historic highs, growth in jobs, tax receipts, educational metrics and quality of life are trending higher.

When mixed together, those trends and improvements will eventually result in more people deciding to call Vicksburg and Warren County home.

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In that same time period, city leaders have made decisions to better invest in the public services that serve residents. While making needed improvements and repairs to the city’s infrastructure, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen have also made investments in the public safety departments.

Recently, we applauded the city for the purchase of new technologies for the Vicksburg Police Department that will hopefully make their jobs easier and safer.

And, in the past, we have congratulated the work by the city and the Vicksburg Fire Department for improvements to equipment, capabilities and facilities that have led to lower Insurance Safety Office ratings and insurance premiums.

That is why the discussion involving the future of the Fire Department’s Central Fire Station is an interesting problem.

Just this week, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. organized a committee to evaluate the Central Fire Station and potential sites for a new fire station in the area.

This move came from the expensive nature of upkeep for the historic downtown station.

Repairs for the building are necessary, but restrictions due to its status as a historic landmark make repairs expensive. And, because of similar restrictions, expanding or upgrading the building to meet the demands of today’s fire fighting needs are similarly expensive or outright unavailable.

With the business and residential growth in downtown Vicksburg, fire coverage to meet those demands is a must. That is why such a committee and its research is so vital to sustaining and supporting the growth.

The Central Fire Station is an important part of Vicksburg’s history and has served the community well. If one day it is no longer needed as an active fire station, using the facility as a museum — as has been discussed — would continue its service to the city in a new capacity.

The discussion involving the Central Fire Station is an interesting problem for city leaders, but when it comes to problems involving growth and development, it is a good problem to have.