Warren County Supervisors discuss new Riverfront Park site

Published 9:58 am Monday, February 14, 2022

The Warren County Board of Supervisors on Monday discussed the closing and relocation of Riverfront Park.

To begin the meeting, Board President Kelle Barfield explained why the board did not vote on the matter during its Feb. 7 meeting.

“We held off voting (on the Riverfront Park issue) because we wanted to make sure this was in no way committing the county to any use of county funds,” Barfield said. “Permanently closing it has the risk of using county funds to repay the federal government for the amount spent on repairs to the site. But that was resolved by the donation of the property near Golding Barge Line.”

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Barfield also acknowledged that the value of the proposed property “far exceeds” the value of the current park property, so there would be no issue in continuing Riverfront Park as a park in perpetuity at the new site.

However, there is still work to be done.

“You actually have to have a park. You can’t just have land,” Barfield said. “There was a design for a substantial park, but as we discussed, you don’t have to start at the Cadillac version. We need to look at, what are the standards that make it useful for the community?”

Warren County had previously agreed to cost-share repairs to the Riverfront Park property following a series of slides. Barfield said the original cost projections were between $700,000 to $800,000 to repair the park, but the actual cost would be “more than double” that amount. However, work on the new park could be covered with the funds already allotted for the cost-share, she said.

In addition to the resolution adopting the new park site, the board also added a paragraph establishing a community panel comprised of Vicksburg and Warren County residents to determine what they’d like to see in the new park.

The Board of Supervisors will vote on the resolution establishing the new Riverfront Park location during its Feb. 22 meeting.

Board members were in agreement that the current property is not viable for use as a park.

“I think the bottom line version for the existing park is, FEMA was brought in because they claimed it as a one-time event, but geotechnically that’s not going to stop sliding,” District 4 Supervisor Dr. Jeff Holland said. “That’s throwing very good money after bad.”