SURRATT: Musings on public servants and paving roads

Published 4:00 am Friday, September 23, 2022

Before I get started on my column this week, I guess I should apologize for bringing the summertime temperatures back to the area.

After being in this business as long as I have, I should have known better; I should have remembered that once you write about something like the coming of fall nature will mess you up. I wrote about falling temperatures and nature decides to turn up the thermostat.

Additionally, I want to congratulate Deputy Police Chief Mike Bryant on his 30th anniversary with the police department. Over the years, I’ve had the chance to work with Deputy Chief Bryant on several things, whether it was to get police reports, information on a specific crime that was committed in the city or to do a feature story on the police department’s drone. I have always found him to be personable, conscientious and professional. We need more public servants like him.

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Now on to other things.

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday authorized City Clerk Walter Osborne to advertise for the first phase of a $4 million paving program in the city.

The first group of sites includes Indiana Avenue from Porter’s Chapel Road toward Calvary Baptist Church, Porter’s Chapel Road from Indiana Avenue toward Raintree Road and Old Halls Ferry Road in Ward 2, and Harrison Street in Ward 1. All of them are in need of work, with more streets to be paved in the group to follow.

But this first group and the second group of streets to follow are just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the number of city streets to be paved. This is not a criticism; all communities across the state and this country are in a constant battle to keep streets repaired and paved. And from my experience over the years, Vicksburg has done a better job keeping streets paved than some cities where I’ve lived or visited.

As I write this, I know I’ll have readers disagreeing with me and can point out one or more streets they believe deserve priority. We all have that opinion. Still, it’s good to see the city put together another paving program and do it in some high-volume traffic areas. And yes, I know there are other high-traffic areas that need either an overlay or need to be ground down to their base and reworked. And I’m sure more paving programs are in the future but when and where will depend on money and the availability of that key ingredient — asphalt, which people with the city and with MDOT tell me is in short supply right now.

All good things come in time.

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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