City of Vicksburg begins process to borrow $11 million for capital improvements

Published 4:14 pm Friday, September 24, 2021

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved two resolutions Friday starting the process to issue up to $11 million in general obligation bonds for capital improvements.

The board’s action comes about 30 days after it announced its intention on Aug. 26 to issue the bonds. According to one of the resolutions, “No sufficient protest” against issuing the bonds had been filed with the city clerk’s office.

The bonds will be paid off over 10 years using money from sales tax collected on Internet sales and diverted to cities and counties for capital improvements. The city receives the diversion funds twice a year.

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Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said after the meeting the board will set a priority list of projects to be funded through the bond issue.

One series of projects, he said, involves the city’s water treatment plant and water distribution system.

“We have to install a new pipe to the clarifier (which is used to soften the water during the water treatment by mixing lime during the process) and build a tank south of town and the GPS system to identify leaks (in the system),” he said. “There is the North Washington Street paving to Jackson Street and reduce the lanes.”

Flaggs has proposed resurfacing North Washington Street from Haining Road to Jackson Street and reducing it from a four-lane street to two lanes with a turning lane in the center.

“We need to do that and paving (other streets),” he said. “It looks like we’re going to have to spend $6 million in paving to bring these streets up to standard.”

The board in the past has discussed paving more streets in the city and Flaggs earlier in the year asked Aldermen Michael Mayfield and Alex Monsour to prepare a list of streets for paving in their wards under an estimated $4 million paving project.

The board is also seeking money from the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s State Emergency Road and Bridge Repair Fund for improvements to the bridge on Fisher Ferry Road that is north of the entrance to the Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi sports complex.

The amount of money the board will receive for the work has not been determined pending recommendations by Stantec, which the board hired at a cost not to exceed $7,500 to evaluate the bridge’s problems.

City Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman said there is an erosion problem on the bank of the bayou downstream from the bridge behind a house. Structurally, he said, the bridge is fine but it isn’t big enough to handle the car and foot traffic caused in part by the sports complex.

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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