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City approves levee project to protect waterline, facilitate Vicksburg Forest Products’ expansion

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen have accepted the bid of a Yazoo County contractor to extend the Haining Road Levee surrounding Vicksburg Forest Products.

The board Monday accepted the $998,000 bid of Anderson Contracting of Yazoo City to build the levee to protect the city’s main waterline and allow Vicksburg Forest Products to expand. The plant expansion is expected to create 60 direct jobs and involve $40 million in corporate investment.

Anderson’s bid was the lowest among the four bids submitted Friday, all of which exceeded the project’s $995,592 budget. Other companies submitting bids were Theobald Construction of Vicksburg, $1.19 million; Hemphill Construction of Florence, $1.30 million; and Central Asphalt of Vicksburg, $1.5 million.

City Attorney Nancy Thomas said Vicksburg Forest Products committed to contributing the $2,408 difference between the project budget and Anderson’s winning bid.

“We’re going to put this on the fast track,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said Friday. “This has so much potential for the people of Vicksburg. It’s creating jobs like never before in the Kings community.”

The city received $1.2 million in state funds for the engineering and construction of the levee. The board used $204,408 of the state allocation to pay for the project’s engineering and acquire land for wetlands mitigation.

Preliminary plans involve building a new levee along the north side of Haining Road at Long Lake Road and connecting it with the existing levee. The levee was originally built to protect the former Anderson-Tully mill.

During the May 2017 flood, a valve on the section of the main waterline west of the levee broke, forcing the board to declare an emergency and hire a contractor to build a dike around the submerged waterline so the valve could be replaced.

The problem also forced city officials to close the water treatment plant’s main valve to prevent backflow and issue a boil water notice that ran for three days.

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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