Vicksburg Board approves $3.5 million in state funds for Riverfront Park and riverfront improvements

Published 3:52 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to authorize Mayor George Flaggs Jr. to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the disbursement of $3.5 million in state funds for a new park and general riverfront development.

“We’re going to try and make the canal more visible and more attractive,” said Flaggs.

The goal of the project is to make the riverfront more inviting for both locals and tourists. The area intended to be improved surrounds the location where riverboat tourists usually disembark when stopped at Vicksburg.

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Of the $3.5 million, $2 million will go toward the development of the new Riverfront Park to be built on Oak Street on 5.5 acres donated by the Golding family of Golding Barge Line. It will be replacing the current Riverfront Park which was shut down in February after landslides made the park unsafe for use and repairs were found to be cost-prohibitive and unsustainable.

The old park property has been owned and operated by the city since 1995 after it took over for the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, which had been in charge of the property since 1989.

A total of $1.5 million from the approved funds will be directed toward a stretch of general improvements on Washington Street from the downtown area to Haining Road, including better lighting and electricity access and structures for securing canvas tents in the Vicksburg Farmer’s Market lot.

Flaggs said of the $1.5 million for general improvements, approximately $1 million has not yet been committed to specific projects.

It is expected that the remaining funds will be used for the general beautification and functionality of the area, he said. For instance, Flaggs said he hopes to construct areas where families can come picnic near the Yazoo Diversion Canal.

“We’re one of the few cities (with river access) that don’t have areas where you can sit and have family gatherings on the river,” he said.