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Flood 2011

Board of Mayor and Aldermen – March 16, 2011 (Flood Statements)

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http://www.fema.gov/assistance/ FYI – this flood has been identified by FEMA number 1983DR. Mayor Winfield also cautioned those who would seek to commit any fraud or malfeasance by falsely registering for assistance by letting them know that authorities are already on the watch for such situations. Mayor Winfield yielded the floor to City Attorney Lee Thames who discussed the timeline of building the temporary levee on the railroad bed behind the Green Meadows subdivision in southern Vicksburg.  Alderman Sid Beauman also pointed out that the City of Vicksburg and the residents who are protected by the railroad bed levee owe a debt of gratitude to Mike Cappaert for donating all of the dirt used to build the levee. Mayor Winfield took the floor again to discuss how this flood is affecting us economically, in particular our sales tax and casino revenues, and how that will affect our budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.  Mayor Winfield called the budget a “living document” and stated that there are adjustments and cuts that will have to be made due to lower than anticipated revenues from the gaming industry.  Average revenues for the month of May (over the last three years) have been slightly more than half a million dollars.  This year, with only two of the five operating at this time, we can expect a significant decline in the monthly revenues. The Mayor, looking to the future, said that he hopes that the casinos will spring back from this hardship quickly. The Mayor went on to speak about the manufacturing and industrial jobs that have been affected by the flood, stating that 25% of that workforce has been furloughed.  He cautioned that many area families are affected and during times of hardship, people spend less money.  That drop in expenditures will affect the amount of sales tax revenue that the city collects. The Mayor wanted to point out that there have been relatively few businesses directly affected by the flooding.  He wanted to ease the minds of people who have scheduled meetings, reunions, events or other activities in Vicksburg who may be looking to cancel, move or re-schedule their event.  The message he sends to the world is simple: “We are still open for business!” Chief Walter Armstrong of the Vicksburg Police Department discussed some of the areas road closures, barricaded areas, patrols and adjusted truck routes.  He spoke about the influx of tourists into the area – tourists who are here to see the historic flooding – and stated that the VPD has extra officers in the downtown area to direct traffic and protect pedestrians.  There is also an extra patrol along Washington Street to ensure that traffic keeps flowing through the area.  Chief Armstrong also pointed out that there have been no injuries or fatalities in relation to the flooding. Vicksburg Fire Chief Charles Atkins briefly discussed the safety issues that we are facing in our community.  One of those hazards he pointed out is the danger of downed power lines.  The Chief encouraged people to stay out of the flood waters, not only because of their toxicity, but because of the danger of electrocution. Alderman Michael Mayfield complimented the work of all of our city employees, especially those in the VPD and VFD, who have been working tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents of and visitors to our city. After the comments about the flood, the Board set about the work on the day’s agenda. Agenda items included the discussion about cutting, clearing and demolishing some properties that have not complied with city standards; approving a payment to Vicksburg-Warren E-911 for the city’s share of the cost of operation; approving a purchase request for a new MT Combo Planer, a piece of equipment used to maintain the city ball fields, by the Parks and Recreation Department; execute a letter of support to Good Shepherd Community Center, United Way of West Central Mississippi and the Mississippi Department of Human Services in relation the Child Care and Development Block Grant, which the city administers and to accept / execute a contract for that grant with the Mississippi Department of Human Services; to declare Monday, May 30, 2011 is National Memorial Day and declare that day an official city holiday; and to execute a letter of support for Haven House Family Shelter’s request for funding for emergency shelter services from the Mississippi Development Authority. Two agenda items were table until a later date:  A request from Morning Star Seventh Day Adventist Church for the complimentary use of the Jackson Street Community Center and a request for sponsorship of Vicksburg and Warren Central football broadcasts on WVBG – V105 FM, owned by Mark Jones. There were three personnel matters set for discussion in executive session. T]]]]> ]]>

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