By Jef Rietsma
Vicksburg municipal officials praised the recent completion of a major capital-improvement project: a new public works garage.
Finishing touches were added late last year to the 6,000-square-foot building. Located off North Main Street, the new building ensures all DPW vehicles and equipment used by the department’s five-member staff are under a roof.
Village Manager Jim Mallery said equally as important, it’s worth noting the facility was built with money the district had set aside over the course of four years. He said not a lot of communities can authorize construction of a $430,000 building without incurring some debt.
“We took our time and saved money so we could do this in cash,” he said. “Built it on land we already own, so this is really a good example of being fiscally responsible and not putting a burden on taxpayers.”
Mallery said an old salt-storage area fell victim to the new building. He said it had served its purpose but its condition was beyond woeful.
“Just having a dry storage area for the salt, not having to use a bunch of tarps to keep it covered because of the holes in the roof, it’s really a 100 percent improvement,” Mallery said, noting the storage area also includes the salt supply used by Vicksburg Public Schools.
Meanwhile, the garage itself houses all snow-removal equipment, the village’s three plow trucks, a vac-all truck, a wood chipper and pick-ups necessary for everyday use. In all, there is room for more than a dozen vehicles inside the facility.
“The goal was to clean up the yard, organize it, get all of our equipment inside … that’s about $1 million worth of equipment and keeping it contained inside this building will certainly help extend its life,” Mallery said. “There’s room, we believe, for the next 50 years’ worth of growth.”
The former garage, a 4,000-square-foot building, will continue to be used in various capacities. It stands to the east of the new maintenance building and will eventually be fitted with a façade to better resemble the exterior of the new building, Mallery said.
Motion-detected flood lights and cameras provide security. A generous amount of shelving helps keep things organized, Mallery said.
Construction of the new building was a slow process but took place in about 12 months.
By Jef Rietsma