Strong partnerships, leadership making idea of new port a reality

Published 6:13 pm Tuesday, October 6, 2020

There is simply no way to run a headline big enough to honor the impact a new port in Vicksburg will have on the local economy. There’s just not enough ink.

For months — years actually — there has been talk, murmurs and quiet discussions about either expanding the current Port of Vicksburg or developing a new site altogether. Now, those conversations, ideas and rumblings are becoming reality.

Recently, the Vicksburg Warren County Economic Partnership shared the findings of a market analysis that not only showed what types of industries would be attracted to a new facility but the potential for new jobs that would be created. It was eye-opening and proved the concept that had long been talked about would be successful.

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Local leaders and previous economic officials had long known the current facility does not have room to expand. All of its property is locked up.

Today, the Port of Vicksburg supports 21 industries and an estimated 4,000 jobs. Just think about what more industries and more jobs would mean for our community.

But even though this community knew there was need for expansion, our community was not ready to do so. We did not have the leadership, the partnership or the relationship between all of the agencies and governments needed to take on such a huge undertaking. 

Today, with a strong working relationship between city, county and local economic leaders, along with strong support from state leaders, who themselves have a strong connection to Vicksburg, we are now poised to tackle such a project.

In the coming months, economic officials have said a site or sites would be selected and then additional due diligence would be needed before a master plan for a new port could be put together. 

It is exciting to see such an idea, once a murmur, start to become reality. It is also exciting to see the potential our community has in not only talking the talk, but starting to walk the walk.