City of Vicksburg approves joint resolution for new Riverfront Park

Published 4:43 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen have approved a joint resolution with the Warren County Board of Supervisors to create an advisory committee for the proposed new Riverfront Park.

The board’s action came at its Tuesday meeting. The supervisors approved the resolution on May 2. The eight-member committee will be involved in the planning process for the new park, which will be built on Oak Street on land donated by the Golding Family.

At the time the supervisors approved the committee, Board of Supervisors President Kelle Barfield said it was imperative for the city of Vicksburg and the county to work together and involve members of the community early.

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“The relocated Riverfront Park will be a tremendous asset to the entire community, so the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Board of Supervisors felt it would be important to get early input from members of the community as we redesign and build a park that appeals to as many different users of the space as possible,” she said. “The committee will look at all of the options that we have in terms of assets as well as funding sources for those assets and that will provide important information.”

City Attorney Kim Nailor said the committee will make recommendations to both boards and make a final recommendation on a conceptual plan. The committee, she said, will also serve as a conduit between the boards and the community.

“I hope that they can make a recommendation to the Legislature, because that’s important if we’re going to build it the way we say we’re going to, that they have that recommendation by the legislative session per the Lieutenant Governor,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said.

The committee is composed of five members appointed by the supervisors and three appointed by the city.

Currently, the committee members ratified by the county are Co-Chair Linda Fondren, Elizabeth Nelson, Janice Flowers, Michael Mathews and Dorwin Shields.

The city of Vicksburg’s appointees are Co-Chair Fermika Smith, Mark Buys and Laura Beth Strickland.

City of Vicksburg Parks and Recreation Director Patrick Daughtry, Warren County Parks and Recreation Commission President Dr. Casey Fisher and John Reid Golding will serve as ex officio members of the committee.

The former Riverfront Park was permanently closed in February after a series of landslides rendered the site unsafe and repairs to the location were deemed cost-prohibitive by the city and county, forcing the park’s abandonment. The city and county jointly operate and manage the park and share the costs of maintenance and repairs.

Later in February, Vicksburg’s Golding family donated 5.5 acres of land to the city and county to house the new park.

The site is right at the bend of the Mississippi River at Vicksburg and the new park site overlooks Golding Barge Line’s offices.

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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