Mayor wants consultant to advise on housing, code enforcement
Published 1:07 pm Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. wants to hire a consultant to advise the city on housing and handling derelict properties.
Flaggs announced his plan in his opening comments before the start of Monday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. He said he made the decision to find a consultant after touring the city.
“This weekend, I had the opportunity to ride the whole city and I think it has come to the point where we’re going to have to look at bringing in a consultant, because they have the expertise and they can recommend to us what we need to do going forward on our housing situation; not only new houses and construction but dilapidated housing and everything,” he said.
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He said he would direct City Attorney Kim Nailor to prepare a request for proposals “so that we can determine who can best lead us in this direction.”
Flaggs said it was unfortunate that the city does not have anyone with the necessary expertise in-house.
“It’s just some things we don’t have in the community development department,” he said.
He said he would meet with Community Development Director Jeff Richardson and the department’s inspectors “to look at what we’re doing.”
“To be honest with you, there’s some areas in the city that show a lot of concern and we need to address them,” Flaggs said.
He said COVID Champions Program executive director Felicia Kent and city grants writer Nancy Allen would seek potential U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants available to the city to help fund efforts to improve the city.
“It has come to that time. If you ride and you see what I saw, it’s here and we’ve got to look at it and going forward this cannot be a pathway to the future of this city through economic development,” Flaggs said. “If it don’t pass through education, if it don’t pass through housing and if it don’t pass through good government.”
He said he was making housing a priority for the next two years “and hopefully we can do something about it.”