VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved $3.5 million in state funds to be distributed for River Front Park improvements.

The board voted to authorize Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. to issue a memorandum of understanding on July 25th to get the job started.

“Hopefully, it’ll have an amphitheater where you’ll be able to look at the sunset over the Mississippi River, with entertainment, and recreational use. Then, we’re going to go downtown to the farmer’s market area and we’re going to improve the lighting at night and going to improve some electrical things which will cost about $300,000,” explained Flaggs.

The end goal of the project is to make the river front more inviting for tourists and residents. According to city officials, the canal needs to be more visible and attractive for guests.

The current River Front Park was shut down in February after landslides made the park unsafe. Repairs were thought of as unsustainable at the time. The park property has been run and operated by the city since 1955.

“We still got about a million dollars to do some other developmental stuff along the Mississippi River. It is my intention to collaborate with one of the riverboats that are coming in that is going to construct a port or docking entrance, and work with them, so we can finally have some type of family attraction along the Yazoo Canal,” said Flaggs.

“We believe in the next year that we’ll have a river front that we’ve never had before. We’re thankful that the legislature will allow us that kind of money to help with our riverfront development, and it’s going to tremendously improve tourism in our city.”

Vicksburg is currently one of the few cities with river access that lack sitting areas for family gatherings and public events. The city is now currently in the design stages for the River Front Park.