The Warren County Supervisory Board and the Vicksburg Mayor and Aldermen’s Council have approved a joint resolution that would allow councils, if necessary, to acquire property for the proposed new port via a prominent estate.
According to the resolution, the councils would have the power to jointly bring an action in a county court to seize land through a prominent estate if a landowner rejects the government’s offer for the property.
Supervisors voted 3-2 in an executive session on Nov. 30 to approve the deal, with supervisors Shawn Jackson and William Banks opposed.
Jackson said she opposed the resolution because “I didn’t have the information I needed to vote for something so important.” Jackson did not specify what other information she needed.
The banks have indicated that he does not want to have a new facility.
“I want to keep the port we have now; I want to keep using it, ”he said.
The mayor’s council and aldermen unanimously approved the resolution after a nearly 30-minute executive session at a special meeting called the same day. Mayor George Flaggs Jr. announced council’s decision in open session.
City and county officials and regional economic development officials are considering a site off the US 61 South for an inland port and industrial hub project.
A list of properties accompanying the resolution indicates that local authorities wish to acquire 28 parcels of land, totaling approximately 1,034 acres and totaling over $ 830,000 in estimated value according to county tax records.
According to an aerial photograph of the area, the proposed site is located along the Mississippi River, south of the Entergy Baxter Wilson Power Plant and at the mouth of the Bayou de Hennessey. Entergy announced the closure of the plant’s remaining production unit and the shutdown of Baxter Wilson on May 31, 2022.
City and economic development officials have been discussing a new port for Vicksburg for three years and have invested money in marketing and feasibility studies for the project.
“The Warren County Board of Directors and the City of Vicksburg have passed the joint resolution as part of a careful and orderly process that is helping our community develop a new port south of I-20,” said said Pablo Diaz, President and CEO of the Vicksburg-Warren Economic Development Partnership. “The resolution does not mean that a deposit has been made, nor that a deposit is imminent.
“The intention has been, and continues to be, to purchase the necessary properties. Using the eminent domain is a last resort which can only be used when necessary. Expanding port infrastructure in our region is critical to job creation and long-term economic stability for Vicksburg and County Warren. This is an ambitious project that must come to fruition if our region is to provide good jobs to future residents and take full advantage of our proximity to the Mississippi River, ”said Diaz.
Vicksburg’s Council of the Mayor and Aldermen in June approved a $ 49,000 deal with Neel-Schaffer Engineers to help the city secure a $ 25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to rebuild U.S. infrastructure with sustainability and equity, or RAISE, to help build the harbor in an area near Baxter Wilson.
If approved, the grant will provide money to begin construction.
The Port of Vicksburg is the 15th largest inland port in the country based on millions of tonnes, according to data from the US Army Corps of Engineers. According to the Partnership, the port supports 21 industries which employ 4,000 people.
In July 2020, Seabury Marine LLC, a company hired by the Council of the Mayor and Aldermen, released an analysis of the Port of Vicksburg market which provided an overview of the markets and businesses that could be attracted by the expansion of operations. ports.
The report showed that expanding services to Vicksburg, whether through the expansion of the current port or the construction of a new port operating in combination with existing facilities, has the potential to generate millions of dollars in new investments and create hundreds of new jobs.