City of Vicksburg signs agreement with Gouras to develop urban plan
Published 12:44 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2022
A former city planner is returning to help develop an urban renewal plan for Vicksburg.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday approved an agreement with Jimmy Gouras, who once served as Vicksburg city planner and is donating his services to help city officials develop an updated urban renewal plan.
“We have a 25-year comprehensive study of the city and I don’t know many more studies have dust on them,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said.
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He said Gouras will work with the city to help city officials develop an updated urban renewal plan and “do some other things to be announced.
“Let’s face it; we don’t have an urban planner in the community development department,” Flaggs said. “In lieu of hiring one, he’s going to do it free. We’re going to give you a five-year urban development plan that you’ve never seen before that will include housing, retail and everything.”
Flaggs added he believes he, Gouras and City Attorney Kim Nailor can develop a plan “including the River Town development and everything.
“We’ve got to stop just ‘off the cuff’ developing this city going forward,” he said. “We’ve got to do it in a methodical, planning way; we need to go slow and plan it out. That’s what we’re going to do.”
The time has come, Flaggs said, for the city to have a five-year plan “that we can pay for. We’re going to start doing some things in the city without money. I don’t want to hear nothing going forward that costs money. We’re doing 10 things without money.”
One item, he said is residents can “adjust your attitude about Vicksburg; stop saying negative things about the city. If you’re going to say something negative, don’t say it at all.”
He said people from outside the city comment on the city’s appearance and how it’s improving while residents criticize the city.
“We’re minimizing those haters,” he said.
Ward 2 Aldermen Alex Monsour agreed.
“I very rarely meet anybody outside of Vicksburg that has something bad to say about Vicksburg,” he said. “It’s a handful of people in Vicksburg that talk about this.”