City, county need to come together for mutual benefit

Published 12:38 pm Sunday, March 24, 2024

In the City of Vicksburg, with the second longest river in the world; with three different cruise ship companies docking in the City of Vicksburg, a 1,600- acre military park that is visited by 500,000 to a million people every year: two federal facilities; Corps of Engineers located on Clay Street; a research and development base located on Halls Ferry Road; International Paper company; Batesville National Casket company and four gambling casinos. In a 10,000-student public school, we do not have a place for a Greyhound Continental trailway bus to stop to pick up passengers or deliver passengers.

The bus ticket can be purchased on a cellphone and the bus driver can scan your phone and take you to New York or California.
Port Gibson has a bus stop at a Stop & Go convenience store that generates revenue for that business. Yazoo City has a bus stop at Circle K that adds revenue to that business.

There is an elephant in the City of Vicksburg, but no one sees it. We have a greater potential than any city in the State of Mississippi.

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We have two systems operating in the city: one black and one white. The city government is Black, and the county government is white. We have two law-enforcement agencies in the city. The Vicksburg Police Department, and the county sheriff department. The Vicksburg Police Department is Black. The Warren County Sheriff Department is white. We have two public school systems. The Vicksburg High School is Black and Warren Central High School is white. We have two fire departments. One white and one Black. The city fire department is fully funded, and the other is run by volunteers. Both fire departments take resources directly or indirectly from the other. They should be unified. Vicksburg could be that shining city on the hill, however, as it stands now it is a house divided against itself.

This unification will total $2 million to $4 million yearly by elimination of dual administration services in all four divisions. Four million could be used to turn the ex-chamber of commerce building on Mission 66 into a youth center, fund a summer job program, fall tutoring program and a recreation center. Or to hire more police officers to prevent crime, or to hire more firefighters. How many $50,000 a year jobs can four million dollars yearly make? How many $25,000 a year jobs can four
million dollars yearly make?

Nothing short of a unification of both city and county will make for fiscal efficiency and effective government.

Finally, four million times 10 years equals 40 million to enhance and improve the city to make it the number one shining city.

– Joseph E. Williams Jr.