City leasing former chamber office for surveillance, youth programs

Published 12:17 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

The former Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce building on Mission 66 will serve double duty under a plan by Mayor George Flaggs Jr.

On Monday, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a 5-year lease with the chamber for $20,000 a year. Under the lease agreement, the city will pay four quarterly payments of $5,000 each in January, April, July and October, and be responsible for the insurance and maintenance.

Flaggs said the building would house the city’s proposed youth program and the surveillance system for the city’s new surveillance cameras that will be installed in the future.

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The surveillance room was initially planned to be housed in the Vicksburg Police Department training building.

“We found out it would be much cheaper to put the equipment in there (the chamber building) than the building across from the police department,” Flaggs said.

He said the room that once served as the office for Vicksburg-Warren Partnership executive director Pablo Diaz was already wired for the computer systems. Flaggs said the area would be separated from the rest of the building.

The youth program is aimed at reducing juvenile violence in the community.

Flaggs in January appointed a 10-member committee and charged it to create a comprehensive strategy to combat juvenile violence by using a multi-prong approach of education, prevention, intervention, parental coaching, family counseling and other relevant factors, and developing a youth program comprised of juveniles recommended by the Warren County Youth Court and the Vicksburg Warren School District.

The committee will also develop a comprehensive plan addressing the mental, psychological and behavioral safety and well-being of the city’s youth and maintain a database to monitor chronic absenteeism aimed at decreasing the dropout rate in Vicksburg.

“Everyone is on board — the city and the county; we’re just waiting on the (Vicksburg Warren) school board,” he 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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