City selects firm to conduct marketing analysis for new port

Published 6:25 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019

A New Jersey company will perform the marketing analysis for a new port for Vicksburg.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Friday approved hiring Seabury Maritime of Edison, N.J., for an amount not to exceed $186,975 to perform the study that will determine the feasibility of building a new port. The analysis is expected to be completed by January.

“They’re going to determine whether or not the market will sustain a new port or to expand the existing port,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said.

Seabury was one of six companies seeking the contract for the analysis. Also submitting proposals were Cambridge Systems, Cambridge, Mass.; Global Logistics Partners, Scottsdale, Ariz.; John C. Martin Associates LLC, Lancaster, Pa.; IHS Agribusiness Markit, London, England, with an American office; and Mercator, Seattle, Wash.

In June, the board signed a contract not to exceed $240,000 with Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. of Atlanta, Ga., to help the city negotiate the process to begin the feasibility study.

The marketing analysis is the first phase of the four-phase study, with the selected consultant examining available facilities and land, available markets and whether it is feasible to expand or redevelop facilities in order to gain increased business.

The proposed new port is the key item in a $55 million capital improvement program proposed by Flaggs that would be funded by a 1-cent sales tax. About $26.5 million of the money would serve as matching funds for the port, which Flaggs estimated would be $125 million.

Flaggs announced the proposed program in April 2018, calling it a “game changer.”

“If we build that port, that’s 500 jobs. If we do that, that’s the biggest game changer since the Civil War in Vicksburg, Mississippi,” he said when he announced the plan.

The board is expected to seek a local and private, or special bill, during the 2020 session of the Mississippi Legislature to hold a referendum on the 1-cent tax to fund the capital improvements program.

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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