City of Vicksburg gets NRCS funds for landslide repairs

Published 11:56 am Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen is one step closer to repairing serious landslide areas at Farmer Street and Clover Lane, approving a grant agreement with the National Resource Conservation Service and hiring an engineer to design and develop construction plans for the work.

Under the agreement approved Wednesday, the city will receive $267,300 in federal funds for the two projects. The money is expected to cover about 80 percent of the projects’ total  $348,300 cost, with the city providing the balance of $81,000. The grant award follows the board’s Nov. 1 decision to apply for the grant.

The board also approved a $46,956 contract with Neel-Schaffer Engineers to perform the engineering for the project.

Both slide areas occurred during the heavy rains that hit the Warren County area between January and April 2020 and Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman said Nov. 1 the situation at both sites was getting serious.

“It’s getting to where it (the slides) could affect the streets,” he said. “It hasn’t yet, but is probably going to.”

He said the Farmer Street slide, which occurred in February 2020, is probably the worst of the two slides. The slide, which took a section of property between two buildings at 1108 and 1114 Farmer St., sent soil cascading down a slope into a dead-end section of China Street, which is at the bottom of a slope behind the property.

Farmer Street and Clover Lane were two of nine projects involving erosion problems that were submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency by the city for emergency grant money.

The other areas included Riverfront Park, James E. Sturgis Sr. Street, Crestline Lane (street), Greenhill, a culvert on Crestline Lane and a culvert near the intersection of Iowa Boulevard and U.S. 61 South near McDonald’s and the City Park project to replace a damaged walking trail and replace fencing.

When FEMA did not approve Clover Lane and Farmer Street for emergency funds, city officials applied for the NRCS funds. The board in February approved taking a $4 million short-term loan to begin repairs at some of the slide areas while waiting on the federal money. The loan will be repaid with federal funds.

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.

email author More by John