Vicksburg Main Street budget uses two funds to cover expenses

Published 2:29 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen renewed and set a special 5.05 mill property tax on Sept. 9 for downtown Vicksburg to support the city’s Main Street program.

However, the special tax is only one part of Main Street’s total budget for fiscal 2022.

The Vicksburg Main Street budget is composed of two sources: the Downtown Taxing District Millage, which this fiscal year will generate $35,000, and a $180,448 city supplement that covers the salaries and benefits for the director and her assistant and the salary and other expenses for the city’s farmers’ market.

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“The city supplement comes from the general fund,” Main Street Executive Director Kim Hopkins said. “The 5.05 mills cover our supplies and expenses, such as repairing the program’s van, promotional programs and exhibits, office supplies, membership fees for Mississippi Main Street, National Main Street and Mississippi Tourism Association.”

The general fund includes $25,000 for Main Street advertising and $1,750 for advertising for the farmers’ market. The fund also covers expenses for operating the farmers’ market and the training costs and compensation for the farmers’ market manager. It also covers $25,000 for private security guards to patrol the downtown area during weekends.

According to the budget for the special millage, membership fees and subscriptions are the largest expense at $3,600. Supplies and expenses are next at $2,500. Hopkins said the $2,500 covers expenses such as acquiring tents and tables and chairs for Main Street-sponsored events.

Services such as telephones and Internet service account for $2,400, while travel expenses and advertising each account for $4,000. Training and conference costs total $1,500.

Other expenses include $1,500 for rental expenses such as tents and portable facilities; $6,000 for exhibitions and promotions; $2,700 for contractor-provided services involving Main Street’s façade grant, which provides $1,000 to merchants who want to improve their buildings; and $4,000 for utilities and waste disposal for the city’s restrooms at Catfish Row and Washington Street by the Cottonwood, for which Main Street is responsible.

Hopkins said the city supplies the computers, phones and internet, but charges a fee for supplying the service to the department.

She said the training conference and travel costs are necessary to meet Main Street Program requirements.

“In order for us to be a certified Main Street, we have to keep up our (training) hours, so we have to attend so many conferences and training classes to keep up our certification,” she said.

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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