- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 9, 2016

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - Vicksburg is taking ownership of a long-closed former charity hospital, and will apply for a federal grant to clean hazardous material off the property.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen has approved a contract with a consulting firm to apply for money through the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Vicksburg Post reported (https://bit.ly/2fDKTZo ) that it will cost an estimated $850,000 to remove asbestos, tear down buildings, remove an underground storage tank and clear the Kuhn Memorial Hospital site. The city has to own the property to apply for the grant.

“The property is ours, signed, sealed and delivered. Now we’ve got to find out what it will take to take the buildings down,” Alderman Michael Mayfield said. “I hope it goes as smooth as our acquiring the buildings, but you never know what stones will be thrown in your path.”

Kuhn started as a city hospital and became a state charity hospital in 1956. The state closed its three charity hospitals in 1989, and the nearly 13-acre Kuhn property has changed ownership several times since then.

City officials have been trying for at least the past decade to get the property owner to clean the property and demolish or renovate the buildings on the site.

The board on July 6 put the property under the city’s slum clearance ordinance in a move to step up its efforts to remove the main building in the complex.

The city’s efforts to do something with the property accelerated after the abduction and slaying of Sharen Wilson, whose body was found there June 28, 2015. Police said Wilson was killed in the back building and her body was left on the property, where ghost hunters who found it.

People with an interest in the property failed to present plans to either raze or renovate the two buildings on the site in September. That cleared the way to begin the process for demolition.


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

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