City of Vicksburg approves agreement for technology assessment

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, December 22, 2021

City of Vicksburg officials this week approved an agreement with a Florida company to see if they can make city government “smarter.”

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday approved a non-binding agreement with Smart City Capital LLC of Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to perform a 90-to-120-day assessment of the city government’s computer and communications systems at no charge to the city.

“They’ll come in, free of charge, and assess all our technology and service and show us where we can save money,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said after the meeting. “They’re doing it all over the country. Once they’ve made the assessment they can recommend what we can do to improve the quality of service.”

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Once the company makes the recommendation, it’s up to city officials to follow up with the changes to improve the city’s services at least cost, he said.

“It costs us nothing; it’s a no-brainer,” he added.

In another matter, the board approved a resolution to issue $8.66 million in general obligation bonds to refinance an existing $9.6 million bond that was used for paving, demolishing the Kemp Bottom Road bridge and utility relocation on South Frontage Road as part of the state’s South Frontage Road extension project.

The refinancing is expected to save the city about $580,000.

The loan being refinanced was the second draw of a more than $18 million, 20-year capital improvement bond approved by the board in 2015. The present interest rate on the bond is 3 percent and was scheduled to increase to 5 percent by 2024.

The interest rate to refinance the remaining $8.86 million is 2.17 percent. According to city officials, the savings per year over the 17-year term of the loan ranges from $32,377.39 to $37,246.26 for an average annual savings of $34,774.63. The bond will be paid off in 2038.

“Money’s cheap right now,” Flaggs said. “Everybody’s refinancing.”

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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