Officials update mayor on potential sites for future animal shelter

Published 12:14 pm Thursday, February 27, 2020

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said he is reviewing all possibilities for building a new city animal shelter.

Flaggs told residents at a Feb. 21 meeting he would present two potential sites for a new shelter and three options to pay for it.

He said Thursday morning after receiving a report from animal shelter director Kacie Lindsey outlining the pros and cons of two potential shelter sites he still plans to present his proposals.

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“What I’m trying to do is look at all the available options and determine what we can afford or not and go forward,” Flaggs said. “I’m confident we can do something. We just make certain we keep thinking.

“I’m pleased with the way things are going, and the participation and the input we’re getting from the community.”

He said city officials have contacted an architect to look at the design of the proposed shelter, “And we’re going to make a presentation on the location and design and a number of ways we can pay for it. I’m still interested in contracting out if we can; I’m looking at all the options.

“We’ll see what March 12 brings,” he said, adding two options to pay for the project include the proposed 1 percent sales tax being considered by the Legislature, and a lease-purchase agreement.

On Feb. 21, Flaggs, Lindsey, North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield and his assistant Leroy Thomas, community development director Jeff Richardson, city attorney Nancy Thomas and resident Marilyn Terry toured the site of the former U.S. Rubber Reclaiming plant off U.S. 61 South and a tract of land in the 2100 block of Oak Street.

Flaggs said Lindsey’s report indicated the Oak Street property located north of Depot Street is the preferred site. The property is privately owned, and Lindsey said officials are trying to get a price for the property.

The city-owned rubber plant property is located in an AE flood zone, which is a special flood hazard area inundated by the 100-year flood. The location on the property where the actual shelter would go, Lindsey said, slopes down and is the lowest area on the property.

She said the present base flood elevation of the site is 95-to-96 feet, and would have to be elevated to at least 100 feet, which means adding 5 to 6 feet of soil.

Lindsey said a prefabricated building would not be suitable for building the new shelter.

“It’s OK for breeders,” she said. “I would like to actually put my hands on one and I can’t find anyone in this area who has purchased one where I can go drive to and check it out, (but) it’s best to have it all under one roof and we decided not to go that route.”

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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