DDA Planning Parking Lot Improvements Downtown

These people are standing in the location in the parking lot where the restoration work on the curb and gutter will begin.

By Sue Moore

The village-owned parking lot behind stores on the west side of South Main Street has been a concern of the Vicksburg Downtown Development Authority (DDA) for several years.

Village Manager Jim Mallery has proposed using some of the $30,000 of tax-increment financing revenue collected from the Leja Industrial Park expansion for initial fixes. This would begin the project by replacing deteriorating curb and gutter on Washington Street. He asked for and received village council support at its August meeting and DDA board support at its meeting.

A bid from High Country Poured Walls was the lowest at $8,185.75 with the total cost of the project not to exceed that amount plus $3,500. The village’s Department of Public works can do some of the preparation work at a cost not to exceed $3,500 and bill that back to the DDA.

The entryway aprons leading into the parking lot along with curb and gutter and 144 feet of sidewalk would be replaced, Mallery said.

Future plans for the parking lot call for resurfacing and landscaping, with islands and planting but there is not enough money in the DDA budget to make that happen very soon.

Besides this start on the parking lot, the DDA has contributed $10,000 in grants for façade improvements of downtown stores and has loan money procured from the LISC Foundation for further facade work if businesses want to apply.

Leaders of the Authority are planning to reprise the Hidden Vicksburg event from 2016. It was popular with the building owners and brought a number of people from the area to see the upstairs of businesses in the downtown. It is set for Saturday, October 7 from 10 to 3 p.m. Tickets will be available at the Cultural Arts Center.

Christmas in the Village, sponsored by the DDA, is in the planning stages with lots of volunteers lined up to support the parade, the Santa visit, the winter Farmers’ Market and other entertainment downtown. It’s scheduled Saturday, December 2.

Money raised through the spring golf outing sponsored by the DDA has been allocated to procuring way-finding signage for the downtown. Mary Ruple of Pet Emporium is spearheading the effort in conjunction with Don Wiertella, a retired MDOT volunteer, for placement of signage and the type of signs to be manufactured.

The DDA’s annual meeting is set for Tuesday, September 19 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Community Center.

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