Van Norman retiring; city of Vicksburg looking for new engineer

Published 2:01 pm Monday, May 1, 2023

Vicksburg Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman is retiring and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is looking for a new city engineer.

It will be up to seven city officials whether the board hires an engineer or outsources the job to an engineering firm.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. announced at the board’s Monday meeting that Van Norman’s last day with the city is May 30. Van Norman has been with the city for almost 33 years as city engineer and public works director.

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Flaggs’ announcement came after the board authorized City Clerk Walter Osborne to advertise a request for proposals for engineering services for the city. The board also approved a resolution establishing a seven-member committee to review the proposals and recommend whether the city hires a civil engineer or outsources engineering for the city.

According to the resolution, the committee of City Attorney Kim Nailor, Van Norman, Director of Finance and Administration Doug Whittington, Osborne, Assistant Director of Public Works Dane Lovell, Community Development Director Jeff Richardson and Street Department Superintendent Carl Harris “will review each submitted proposal for compliance with the request for proposal, interview compliant engineering firms, and make recommendations to the board of the most qualified proposal based on the prior experience and qualifications of the firm, proposed fees, and other relevant factors.”

The deadline for submitting engineering proposals is May 19, according to the ad. The proposals will be opened and read at the board’s May 25 meeting. Although the request for proposals says “engineering firms,” Flaggs said after the meeting, “We’re either going to hire a civil engineer or we’re going to outsource the work to a firm.

“We’re waiting on the committee to make a recommendation,” he said.

Flaggs said the committee does not have a deadline when to give its decision, “But I hope it will be before May 30.”

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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