By Sue Moore
Some concern over whether the village of Vicksburg should be helping the Historical Society with its payroll accounting and payments to its three part-time employees, was voiced by trustees Chris Newman and Ron Smith. “I’ve nothing against the Society in fact, I’m a big fan, but when I was treasurer of the organization, I paid staff and I think they should be taking care of their own payroll and not have the village involved,” Smith said.
Newman echoed this with his concern that it creates complexity to the village’s cash flow and lacks transparency between the two entities. The rest of the council members agreed and voted to return what was left of the grant money that was given by the Vicksburg Foundation to fund these staff members. Bill Adams, village president abstained, saying the council was trying to micro-manage the village’s staff decision to help out the Historical Society.
Newman also wondered why the no parking signs in front of Sunset Elementary school were removed. Jim Mallery, the village manager said he had the signs removed as a safety precaution. Parents picking up their children after school present a lot of congestion along Boulevard Street, Mallery said. “We have the wait time down from 14 minutes to seven minutes now. We thought of some short term options but this seemed to be the best safety precaution we could take.”
The Downtown Development Director, Kathleen Hoyle, reported progress on the trail and Liberty Lane East. “We may look at building a small section of the trail. This would keep construction moving forward until we can re-apply to MDOT for the grant that would include a bigger chunk of the proposed 2.6 miles.” The council approved changes in the cost of paving when redoing the alleyway between Jaspare’s Pizza and Aaron’s Music store. This was necessary due to the need to separate the paving bid for Liberty Lane from the parking lot on the west side of S. Main Street. “We are also trying to put wiring underground by building those costs into future grant proposals. When you look up, all you see is a big mess of wires,” Hoyle said.
Syd Bastos reported that between 500 and 600 people attended the art stroll and that she too was applying for future grants for the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center (VCAC) and needed the council’s approval. She urged the trustees to save Friday, November 11 for the next big event to be held by the VCAC, as arts auction with Lori Moore as the auctioneer, to help raise money for the organization.