By Jef Rietsma
Vicksburg municipal officials last month took another step toward construction of a new village office later this year.
During their Dec. 19 meeting, village council members approved a motion to manage the bid process related to the project. The action authorizes Village Manager Jim Mallery to work with Frederick Construction to execute the process.
Mallery said the new building has been on the village’s radar since 2017 and required disciplined financial planning in order to follow through with the project.
“We developed a plan … to start to save money so that we would be in a position to not have to bond or place any burden on taxpayers, and we’ve done that,” Mallery said, reminding the council that its members in early 2022 agreed to a site north of the water tower on Richardson Street.
Frederick Construction has aided the village in navigating a path toward groundbreaking. Frederick’s senior estimator, Ryan Collins, provided the council an overview of the process, noting that a design was chosen in July.
“The past five months, we’ve had eight or 10 meetings internally with the designers along with the village, (and) our goal is to work with the designers to understand what the village needs, those priorities and needs,” he said. “We’re at a point now where we want to get involved and do preconstruction services.”
The process is in preparation of bid-letting for specialized components of the construction process. Those pieces include drywall, concrete, excavation, roofing, plumbing and HVAC.
Collins said there will be a pre-bid meeting so prospective bidders have a clear understanding of what exactly is included in the scope of work. He expects bids to be opened Feb. 14.
“It’ll be a public opening with the village …all bids from subcontractors will be publicly opened and read aloud, and a record will be made,” Collins said. “I’ll take that information back to the office, plug it into a final budget sheet using the lowest-qualified contractor or a contractor we’re going to recommend to you, I’ll put together a package and share that, and that’ll be our recommendation for our final budget based on bids received, who we’re going to recommend, who we’re not going to recommend and why.”
Collins said ideally, there would be three bids received per category. He said groundbreaking could take place as soon as April.
The current municipal office is more than 60 years old, village officials said.
In other action, village council members reported positive feedback from December’s Christmas in the Village and parade, which attracted at least 7,000 people. Mallery said the annual event was easily the most attended gathering in the history of Christmas in the Village.
Also, Mallery said construction of the village’s new Public Works facility is finally nearing completion, as the final check to support the project was to be cut before the end of the month.
One other matter of note centered on details related to an inaugural event coming up in February. Details about the impending IceBURG Festival were provided by Alysse Thomas, Vicksburg Area Chamber of Commerce vice president. Further information about the Feb. 11 downtown event will be announced in the February edition of South County News.
One final matter was addressed Dec. 19: Village council meetings will continue to be held at 7 p.m. the first and third Mondays of the month at the South County EMS building. Exceptions are in January and April, when meetings will be held Jan. 16 and 30, and April 17 and 24. As in the past, the village will meet once in July, August and September, on the third Monday.
Following a closed session during the village’s Dec. 5 meeting, council members approved a motion to accept $30,000 from a resident who cut down village-owned trees.
By Jef Rietsma