State officials tour downtown Vicksburg as part of Main Street program

Published 4:36 pm Thursday, November 17, 2022

Downtown Vicksburg was on display Tuesday as the Downtown Vicksburg Main Street Program participated in a statewide tour hosted by the Mississippi Main Street Association to highlight communities in each of the state’s four congressional districts.

Under the program, state legislators were invited to attend the district tour of their choice with each tour showcasing stops in three Main Street communities. Vicksburg was included in a tour of communities in District 2, which also featured tours of downtown districts in Greenville and Greenwood.

State Sen. Briggs Hopson and Entergy Mississippi official and Mississippi Main Street Board Member Chris Hinton, accompanied by city and county officials and Thomas Gregory, Mississippi Main Street Association executive director, toured the downtown area. Hopson, a Vicksburg native, was the lone legislator to tour Vicksburg. Downtown Vicksburg Main Street Executive Director Kim Hopkins said State Rep. Stephanie Foster, D-Jackson, was unable to attend.

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The purpose of the tours was to educate elected officials about the work of Main Street and show the successful efforts on the local level that are supported by the state organization.

Each tour was designed to show the success of local Main Street revitalization efforts, including visiting successful small businesses in the downtown district, visiting restored buildings that have taken advantage of façade grants, historic tax credits or other financial incentives, and meeting some of the local Main Street directors and local leaders.

During the tour of Vicksburg, the group visited the Key City Brewery and heard a presentation by Hopkins on proposed improvements to the downtown area, including Gordon’s Alley.

Hopkins said officials were shown work done with state grant funds and she was able to explain Main Street’s plans for American Recovery Program Act funds, stopped by the Civil War Museum and went to Washington Street Park to discuss the proposed improvements there and to other areas of the city.

“We truly appreciate the support of our state elected officials and were excited to show the success of some of our local Main Street programs,” Gregory said. “Main Street is economic development, and our 48 local Main Street organizations help create jobs and business opportunities while catalyzing public and private investment in our downtowns.”

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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