- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - The city of Vicksburg will be getting another walking trail paid for in part by a $99,000 federal Recreational Trails Program grant administered by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks.

The Vicksburg Post reports (http://bit.ly/1Ll6unH) the Federal Highway Administration grant will cover about 80 percent of the $123,750 project at Hall’s Ferry Park, one of six new trails planned by the city. The city will pay the remaining $24,750.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen authorized Mayor George Flaggs Jr. to sign the grant agreements Friday.

City Grants Administrator Marcia Weaver says the city has a $30,000 commitment from My Brother’s Keeper Inc. to provide amenities like benches, signs and fitness stations along the trail which will go around the tennis courts and baseball and softball fields, and Shape Up Vicksburg has committed to planning the opening ceremonies for the trail and to organize group walks.

Weaver said the park’s completion date had not been set, pending design work and advertising for bids.

“We’ll have to hire an architect to design the trail and prepare the plans and specifications, and then we can go out for bids for construction,” she said.

The board last month signed a $25,000 Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative grant agreement with the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce Community Fund and the National Park Service, clearing the way to plan five walking trails through the city. The board will provide a $15,000 match of in-kind labor for the project.

The city presently has two walking trail areas, one at City Park and one at the Vicksburg National Military Park.

The city park trail was reopened in August after a $25,000 makeover funded by a grant from My Brother’s Keeper, a private, nonprofit organization, with a mission to reduce health problems throughout the U.S. and promote healthy living and the use of accessible public facilities.

The money was used to resurface the quarter-mile track, replacing its gravel covering the track with a smooth surface safe for walking and jogging.

Using the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot downtown as the trailhead, the city will develop five urban walking trails to give residents and visitors a unique look at the city.

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com

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