Vidalia to seek bids for riverfront

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 1, 1999

VIDALIA, La. – The Riverfront Authority has cleared its last hurdle to requesting bids for a planned $45 million recreational and business development on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Earlier this year, state officials announced Vidalia would receive $1.9 million in capital outlay money for Phase 1 of the development, to include road, sewer and drainage work.

There was one hurdle:&160;To advertise for bids for construction, the authority had to wait until an agreement – what authority Chairman Sidney Murray Jr. called &uot;routine paperwork&uot; – was approved by the state.

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But Wednesday, town officials received word that the agreement had been approved, state Rep. Bryant Hammett said. A copy of the agreement should be mailed to the town this week.

&uot;So it looks like the (Vidalia) Board of Aldermen should be ready to advertise for bids at their regular meeting Sept. 14,&uot;&160;Murray said.

The request for bids must be advertised three times – usually for three consecutive weeks – and Murray said bids could be let within one month after that.

&uot;But at this time, I can’t give a date that work on Phase 1 might be started or finished,&uot;&160;Murray said.

When finished, the 58-acre development will include stores, restaurants, an amphitheater, condominiums, recreational fields and other attractions. Town officials have said the development, to be called Vidalia Landing, will attract more tourists to the area and bring in about 300 to 400 jobs – good news for an area were unemployment rates remain in double digits.

In addition to the $1.9 million in capital outlay money, Vidalia should get an extra $1.2 million in state money for the project next year. The town has committed $1.5 million of its own money to the project.