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Military National Park And Mississippi River Economics Essay

Vicksburg, Mississippi is strategically located within a transportation network with unparalleled access to the middle south market. It is located on a major east-west artery of U.S. Interstate 20, and is 30 minutes from U.S. Interstate 55, the north-south passageway of Middle America. Vicksburg is approximately halfway between Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia, and halfway between Memphis, Tennessee and New Orleans, Louisiana. It is positioned 234 miles northwest of New Orleans on the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, and 40 miles due west of Jackson, the State capital.

Demographic & Socioeconomic Information

Demographics & Education

Vicksburg has a wide variety of people. The city reported the genders of the population as 54.7% female and 45.3% male in June 2008. African Americans and non-Hispanic whites make up 99% of the city. However, African Americans are dominating with 60.4% of the population. The citizens are very educated. Vicksburg is ranked #1 nationally in PhDs per capita. Only 8.7% of the citizens are unemployed. The majority (54.5%) have a high school education only although many have more. 11.3% have a bachelor degree and 7.8% have a graduate degree or higher. Total population: 24,974 (Urban population: 23,402 (all inside urban clusters), Rural population: 1,572 (31 farm, 1,540 nonfarm)


The median household income in Vicksburg was $33,620 in June 2008. The per capita income was $19,864. Only 15% of the population was living below the poverty level in 2000. The majority of the population was living in one family houses and the median home price was $99,795 in 2008.


The temperature in Vicksburg ranges from 40 degrees to 90 degrees. This city is above the national average in precipitation. This area is also known for its tornados. Vicksburg was 229% higher than the U.S. average in the number of tornados in 2008.

Figure 1 Average Climate in Vicksburg, Mississippi

Based on data reported by over 4,000 weather stations

Labor Force Characteristics

Percentage in Labor Force in Vicksburg, Mississippi

There were 11,811 in the labor force in Vicksburg at the time of the last complete survey. This represented 59.9 of the total population, compared to the national average of 63.90%.

Mean Travel Time to Work in minutes

From the most recent complete survey, the average commute time to work for local residents in Vicksburg was 18.5 minutes, compared to the national average of 25.5 minutes.

Median Household Income in Vicksburg, MS

The median income for a household in the county was $35,056, and the median income for a family was $41,706. Males had a median income of $33,566 versus $21,975 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,527. About 15.00% of families and 18.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.80% of those under age 18 and 16.20% of those ages 65 or over.

Per Capita Income in Vicksburg, Mississippi

Per capita income in Vicksburg in the last full census was 16,174. Per capita income in the U.S. was 21,587.

Families below poverty level

According to the most recent survey, families living below the poverty line in Vicksburg numbered 1,288, or 19.3 percent of the population. The percentage of families in America living below the poverty line was 9.20%.

Individuals below the poverty level in Vicksburg, MS

Individuals’ living below the poverty line in the community was 5,893, or 23 percent. The percentage of individuals living beneath the poverty level in the country was 12.40%.

Employment by Industry

Government: 4,948

Manufacturing: 4,531

Retail trade: 3,388

Health Care: 3,380


Industrial Park

Ceres is a fully developed research and industrial interplex located adjacent to Interstate Highway-20 east of Vicksburg, 33 miles from the Jackson International Airport, 29 miles from I-55 Highway, 45 miles from the Nissan automotive plant, and 17 miles from the Port of Vicksburg. It is approximately halfway between Dallas and Atlanta, and halfway between Memphis and New Orleans.

There is a total of 1,340 acres at the site, with 860 available for new development. On-site companies include Mississippi Department of Transportation, Magnolia Metal & Plastic, Tyson Foods, Vicksburg Metal Products, and National Guard Readiness Center. There is also a 64,000 sf. available industrial building.


Houses: 11,581 (10,365 occupied: 5,824 owner occupied, 4,541 renter occupied)

% of renters here:

sg4 44%


sg6 28%

Housing density: 352 houses/condos per square mile. Median price asked for vacant for-sale houses and condominiums in 2008 in this state is $148,691. Median contract rent in 2008: $451 (lower quartile is $285 and upper quartile is $590). Median rent asked for vacant for-rent units in 2008 is $455. Median gross rent in Vicksburg, MS in 2008 is $646. Housing units in Vicksburg with a mortgage: 2,876 (243 second mortgage, 264 home equity loan, 17 both second mortgage and home equity loan). Houses without a mortgage: 2,239.

Figure 2 Distribution of Residents’ Age

Vicksburg, Mississippi Age and Sex of Residents


Water Treatment Plant

Constructed in 1969, the Vicksburg Water Plant employs nine full time employees. The facility operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Plant Superintendent Lamar Heffner, states that he is confident that the facility can meet or exceed drinking water standards for the next ten years without modifications. Currently, the facility produces water that exceeds the standards set for potable water. The facility has eleven raw water wells with a capacity of 2 million gallons per day each. The raw water has a total hardness of 240-340 ppm (parts per million), an alkalinity of 260-400 ppm, 7-8 ppm iron, a Ph of 6.9-7.1,standard units and undesirable amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas and carbon dioxide. The plant recently converted to a safer, but effective form of chlorine. Liquid chlorine is now used in the place of numerous cylinders of gaseous chlorine. This protects employees as well as those traveling to and from the harbor project area to the many industrial sites nearby. After demand is met, 3 million gallons of finished water is stored at the plant to meet any peak demand that might occur. The plant has two 6000 gpm, two 4000 gpm and one 2000 gpm high service pumps that can be used to move that finished water to homes and industries when needed.

Sewerage and Waste

The City of Vicksburg Sewer Department is responsible for keeping both the sanitary and storm sewer lines open and flowing. Because of the terrain, the department employs the use of pumps and lift stations to keep the material moving. The department regularly cleans and repairs line and pumps to ensure the proper conveyance of the wastewater and the storm water run-off. The City of Vicksburg recently acquired a large vacuum truck that travels throughout the city removing debris from storm drains and collecting grease and other build-up in lines before they pose problems. The liquid and solids that are removed from the sewer lines are disposed of at the wastewater treatment plant and undergo further treatment therein some areas new line and new manholes are placed to deal with aging infrastructure, as funding is available. Special rod machines and high-pressure water machines are used to remove stoppages.

The sewer department is responsible for the conveyance of domestic and industrial wastewater and the collection and disposal of storm water. However, did you know that it also maintains and operates the pumping system and floodgates that border the Yazoo Diversion Canal in our Town? During the periods of the year that the Mississippi River raises above flood stage the sewer department places the floodgates in the floodwall, operates, and maintains the pumping system that prevents flooding of many businesses and streets in the downtown area and along the entrance to the waterfront. All these services and the treatment and disposal of wastewater as well as the recycling of bios lids on local agricultural land are paid for by the user fees collected each month from our customers. Therefore, the small fees that the customers pay each month fund multiple departments and their associated duties. The sewer fees customers pay are based on their water consumption.

Gas Plant

The City of Vicksburg purchases the original gas system in 1941. At the time, methane gas was generated and sold to customers. Today natural gas is sold according to market value for residential and industrial customers to use for heating, cooking and various manufacturing processes. Currently the system consists of 166 miles of main (lines) that supply gas to 9,513 service connections. Approximately 8,000 customers are served by the system. A gas distribution system is a complex network of interconnected mains fed by regulators and having valves throughout for shutting off or diverting the flow of gas. Pressure in the mains may vary from less than one pound to one hundred pounds. Only properly authorized and trained personnel can operate these valves and only then after proper evaluation of how any change might affect the entire system. Special care is taken to avoid creation of a hazardous situation and to prevent escalation of an existing problem should one arise.

The Port of Vicksburg

The Port of Vicksburg owned and operated by Warren County and the Warren County Port Commission began in 1968 and has become one of the top inland Ports in America. In 2004, the Port of Vicksburg was ranked 11th among U. S. Inland Ports based on trip ton-miles. Truck traffic alone is in excess of 165,000 plus trucks annually. The annual tonnage imported and exported is approximately 800,000 to 900,000 tons. The above 1,200 jobs does not include the many truck drivers, boat operators and rail employees working to maintain the Port of Vicksburg. The Port of Vicksburg is approximately 55 acres with a potential 600 acres available for future development.

The Port of Vicksburg has twenty-one business and industries operating at the Port employing over 4,000 employees. The Port is a designated Foreign Trade Zone, Port of Entry, and maintains a United States Customs service. Located on a slack-water harbor, this 422-acre port consists of the following:


Channel Length, ft

Width (min), ft

Depth (min), ft

Harbor Channel




Approach Channel




The Port maintains a 150-ton crane, two 15-ton overhead cranes, all weather loading and unloading, and 129,000 square feet of insured and sprinkler warehouse space. A rail and road loop allows direct access from barge to truck to rail. Liquid warehouse facilities, barge fleeting, and marshalling services, and barge cleaning and refurbishing services are available. A project to enlarge the Yazoo Diversion Canal, our entrance to the Port, just been completed to accommodate our Port resident industries.


Electricity distributors in Vicksburg: Entergy (primarily used) & Yazoo Valley EPA

Entergy is the primary electricity distributor in Warren County. They currently use a diverse fuel mix to keep prices lower. This diverse fuel mix includes natural gas, nuclear, coal, hydro and purchased energy. They also take advantage of contracts that allow the company to purchase less-expensive power. They work hard to ensure that we do not become too dependent on any one-fuel source. If the costs that Entergy customers pay for fuel is equal to the price that Entergy pays its suppliers for fuel. When fuel prices fluctuate, customer bills reflect these changes. However, because fuel consumed in one month is not billed to the customer in the month it is consumed there is a lag. This lag varies by utility company and is determined by the state public service commission.

In Mississippi, Entergy Mississippi, Inc. submits quarterly fuel adjustment updates with the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff and the Mississippi Public Service Commission to recover costs of fuel costs. The fuel adjustment consists of two parts: – the projected cost of natural gas for the coming quarter and a true-up of actual cost of natural gas for the prior quarter. The true-up process results in any over- or under-recovery of costs flowing back to customers during the quarter. The Staff reviews the submittal and makes recommendations to the Mississippi Public Service Commission. Entergy earns no profit on fuel.


Vicksburg offers a wide array of municipal traveling services. Flying is convenient with the Jackson International airport just 50 minutes away. For private planes, the Vicksburg Municipal Airport and the Vicksburg Tallulah Regional Airport are less than 10 minutes away. The Port of Vicksburg, owned and operated by the Warren County Port Commission, is a key river port there with a rail and road sphere which allow direct access from barges to trucks to rails. The city of Vicksburg offers public transportation through the NRoute system with operating hours Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Other traveling amenities include the Greyhound Bus Station, Car Rental, and limousine Services.

Figure 3 Commute Time


Vicksburg, MS

United States

Commute Time




Auto (alone)






Mass Transit



Work at Home




Commute Less Than 15 min.



Commute 15 to 29 min.



Commute 30 to 44 min.



Commute 45 to 59 min.



Commute greater than 60 min.



Mileage from Vicksburg to:

Jackson, MS …………………………….45 miles

Natchez, MS ……………………………71 miles

Biloxi, MS ………………………………213 miles

Atlanta ……………………………………445 miles

Birmingham …………………………….278 miles

Dallas ……………………………………..360 miles

Memphis …………………………………250 miles

New Orleans ……………………………224 miles

St. Louis …………………………………531 miles

Chicago …………………………………..634 miles

Houston ………………………………….378 miles

Oklahoma City…………………………584 miles

Kansas City ……………………………..773 miles

Detroit …………………………………….1051 miles

Washington, D.C. ……………………..1020 miles

New York ………………………………..1246 miles

Miami ……………………………………..1079 miles

Los Angeles ……………………………..1795 miles

The average commute time for Vicksburg workers is 20.1 minutes, compared with 27.4 minutes nationwide. Approximately 12 fatal motor vehicle accidents occur during 2001 until present. Seventy-eight percent of commuters drive their own vehicle alone. Sixteen percent carpool with others. Two% take mass transit and 1% work from home.

Public Facilities

Health Care

River Region Health System is a for-profit acute care hospital based at 2100 Highway 61 N in Vicksburg, MS. It is fully accredited by the Joint Commission and has an Accredited Chest Pain Center. The hospital houses 372 beds and is serviced by over 90 active physicians and hosts 1,200 employees. The River Region Health system Specializes in Allergy & Asthma, Anesthesiology, Bariatric Surgery, Cardiology, Cardiovascular Surgery, Chest Pain Center, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine, Nephrology Neurology, Obstetrics/ Gynecology, Orthopedics/ Sports, Medicine, Pain Medicine, Pathology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Pulmonology, Radiology, and Urology. (Healthgrades, 2010)

Services provided are Behavioral Health (Addiction & Mental), The Birthplace, Cardiac (Heart & Vascular Center), Diagnostic Imaging (64-Slice CT, Mammography, Ultrasound, Bone Densitometry), Emergency Department, 24-hour, Heart Center at River Region, Industrial Medicine Program, Reflux Center, and the Sleep Center at River Region.

The mortality rate for heart attack patients at the facility is no different than the national rate. The patient mortality rate is also no different than the national rate. In 2006, a total of 2,839 Medicare patients were given 25,475 days of PPS inpatient care and services. The provider was reimbursed $33,046,223 by Medicare for those services. In 2006, 458 Medicare patients were given 6,428 days of Non-PPS inpatient care and services. 7,681 Medicare patients were given outpatient care and services by this provider in 2006. The provider was reimbursed $5,182,034 by Medicare for these services.

When compared to state levels, heart failure patients at this facility are more likely to be given an evaluation of their LVS function and be given smoking cessation advice or counseling. Pneumonia patients at this facility are more likely to be assessed and given an influenza vaccination, be assessed and given a pneumococcal vaccination, and be given smoking cessation advice or counseling. (Healthgrades, 2010)

Patient Safety Ratings

Patient safety ratings reflect the quality of care at a hospital by measuring how well the hospital prevents potentially avoidable complications and adverse events following surgeries and procedures. HealthGrades uses Patient Safety Indicator software from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (see to: 1) Count the actual number of patient safety events; and 2) Predict the expected number of patient safety incidences that are likely to occur at a hospital based on such factors as the types of cases treated at the hospital.

Ratings for each of the 12 patient safety indicators are based on a comparison of the actual number of events to the expected number for that hospital.

Better than expected

Fewer patients were affected than expected.


About the same number of patients were affected as expected.

Worse than expected

More patients were affected than expected.

Each patient safety indicator is rated independently and some indicators apply to more patients than others. Some patient safety events occur more frequently than others. As a result, the rate of patients affected for each indicator may vary substantially.

Figure 4 Patient Safety Ratings

Patient Safety Indicator




Prevention of death in procedures where mortality is usually very low


Lack of pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital


Ability to diagnose and treat in time


Avoidance of collapsed lung due to a procedure or surgery in or around the chest


Lack of infections acquired at hospital


Absence of hip fracture after surgery


Avoidance of excessive bruising or bleeding as a consequence of a procedure or surgery


Adequate organ function and electrolyte and fluid balance after surgery


Avoidance of respiratory failure following surgery


Lack of deep blood clots in the lungs or legs after surgery


Avoidance of severe infection following surgery


Lack of surgical wound site breakdown


Area Education Opportunities

Vicksburg-Warren County offers an opportunity for public, private, parochial, and higher education. Fourteen colleges and universities are located within a 50-mile radius of Vicksburg. These institutions provide students with a varied selection of post-secondary educational programs close to home.

Vicksburg-Warren County School District

All Vicksburg-Warren public schools are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation. The school district serves approximately 9,500 students in nine elementary schools (five K-6, two K-3 and two 3-6), two junior high schools (7-8), two high schools (9-12) and one alternative school (K-12). (Vicksburg, 2010)

Private and Parochial Schools

As an alternative to public education, there are three parochial and one private school located in Warren County. Although small the schools are relatively small they offer a full complement of academic, athletic and extracurricular activities.

Vicksburg Catholic Schools

This school system has provided a comprehensive program of education for approximately 140 years, operating an elementary school (K-6) and a high school (7-12).

Porters Chapel Academy

Porters Chapel is a private school accredited by the Mississippi Private School Association. They accept students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Campus Preparatory Christian School

“Campus Prep” is a private school accredited by the Mississippi Private School Association. They accept students from 3 yrs old through 7th grade.

Vicksburg Community School

Vicksburg Community School is a private Christian school which is accredited by the National Private School Association. We accept students in grades K5 – 12th. VCS offers an advanced curriculum which focuses on professional careers.

WES Graduate Institute

Another educational opportunity in Vicksburg-Warren County is the WES Graduate institute. The WES Graduate Institute is an association of universities and the U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station (WES). Under this program, academic credit and graduate degrees can be earned from member universities through course work offered at WES. The Institute supports graduate study and research. It further enhances the exchange of scientific and technological information between the faculty of member universities and the researchers of WES. Member universities in the WES Graduate Institute include Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University and Texas A & M.

Hinds Community College

Hinds Community College (HCC), located in Warren County, is one available choice. HCC offers a well-rounded curriculum within three divisions. HCC offers 28 courses of study under the umbrella of the High School Division. These studies include basic academic courses and specialized vocational-technical preparatory courses. HCC specializes in vocational and technical courses offered within its college division. In addition to the academic transfer program, trade apprenticeship programs, GED preparation and adult literacy programs, Hinds offers several career training choices. These courses of study award students vocational/technical certificates and/or an Associate of Applied Science Degrees upon successful completion. Fourteen additional educational services are provided by HCC. These services include job placement at MSES job Bank, the mobile literacy unit and the educational test center. Hinds Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools. Although financial aid is available, the low tuition costs at Hinds are easily affordable for many students.

Hinds Community College is a community college with its main campus located in Raymond, Mississippi, about five miles west of Jackson, the state capital. The Hinds Community College District includes Hinds County, Claiborne County, part of Copiah County, Rankin County, and Warren County. With a total enrollment of 19,500 students at six campuses, it is the largest educational institution in the state, a rarity among community colleges. The college currently provides academic college-level courses for the first two years of four-year degree programs that must be completed at senior colleges or universities. It also provides two-year technical degree programs, post-secondary career (formerly called “vocational”) programs, secondary (high-school) career education, and short-term training and continuing education.

The college began as a small agricultural high school in 1917 with 117 students and eight faculty members. In its transformation into a junior college, it began offering college level academic courses in 1922 and was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1926. During the World War II years, a vocational education curriculum was added to the college’s offerings, and in the late 1960s, technical degree programs were added.

Branch locations in Jackson and Vicksburg were opened in the 1970s. These branches primarily offered high school vocational education, though some college-level night courses were taught. Utica Junior College, a historically black junior college whose history dates back to 1903, merged with Hinds Junior College in 1982 under Federal court order as part of a class action racial discrimination lawsuit. The Pearl-Rankin Vocational/Career Center was opened in the town of Pearl in 1983, offering high school vocational education and some college-level night courses. This branch later became the Rankin Campus and currently offers academic, technical, and career programs. The Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center was opened in Jackson in 1984, offering nursing and other medical and dental programs. This center, together with the existing branch in Jackson, became known as the Jackson Campus. A Resource and Coordinating Unit for Economic Development (RCU) was added in 1988 in Raymond and the Eagle Ridge Conference Center was opened in 1996 under the administration of the RCU. The Vicksburg branch became the Vicksburg Campus in 2002 and now offers college-level programs.

Hinds Junior College changed its name to Hinds Community College in 1987 and 13 of the 14 other Mississippi public two-year colleges also adopted the “community” label. Hinds linked up with other two-year colleges by means of the Community College Network (CCN) in 1994. This system allows a course to be offered at one college location while students may participate in the course at several other college locations by means of video conferencing. All of the state public two-year colleges formed the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MVCC) in 1999 to offer courses to students over the Internet. (Vicksburg, 2010)

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