Vicksburg board names committee to select U.S. Rubber cleanup engineers

Published 4:01 pm Friday, September 29, 2023

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen Friday approved a resolution establishing an eight-member committee to review and select a company to provide engineering services for the cleanup of the former U.S. Rubber Reclaiming facility at 2000 Rubber Way.

Community Development Director Jeff Richardson said the committee is one of the requirements under the Environmental Protection Agency regulations for the grant.

Named to the committee were Richardson, City Attorney Kim Nailor, Director of Finance and Administration Doug Whittington, City Clerk Walter Osborne, Assistant Purchasing Director Tara Brown, Interim Public Works Director Dane Lovell, Public Works Project Manager Joshua Burris and Community Development Code Administrator and Administrative Assistant Constance Wince. Richardson will serve as chairman.

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The board on Sept. 17 received proposals from Southern Environmental Management Specialists of Jackson, Pickering Engineering of Flowood and PPM Consultants Inc. of Ridgeland. All three were taken under advisement and forwarded to the selection committee to select the best firm.

Vicksburg has $960,480 in Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup grant programs. City officials were notified of the grant award in May.

The grant requires no match from the city and will allow for the removal of approximately 30,000 tons of rubber waste, disposal of above-ground storage tanks and residues, as well as other waste materials, drums and totes currently present at the site.

The 12.5-acre property was formerly the site of a large-scale rubber recycling operation, and Community Development Director Jeff Richardson said when the city applied for the grant that there was still a large amount of scrap rubber on the property.

The property at one point was put up for tax sale but never claimed, and was later acquired by the Mississippi Secretary of State, which gave it to the city in 2019. City officials at one point in early 2020 considered it as a possible site for the animal shelter but rejected it because it was unsuitable and in a flood zone.

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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