No Work Permit at the Valley?

Unsubstantiated rumor has it that the old Valley building, owned by members of the Leyens family for years, has been sold. Whether the rumor is true or not, repair of the rear exterior of the building seems to be in progress. City ordinances require that a Work Permit be obtained and be prominently displayed during renovation or construction of this type. None is evident at the Valley. So, are the new owners unaware of the code requirement, or is the mayor up to more of his shenanigans?

Published in: on October 15, 2007 at 8:03 pm  Comments (26)  

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  1. I hope the rumor is correct. It would be nice to see that building made into apartments for downtown living.
    I’m surprised the Mayor hasn’t done it himself.

    Years ago I seem to remember there was a small grocery in the downtown area on the lower end of Washington St.
    I don’t remember the name of it. I think it was owned by the Nossers or Abrahams. With more people moving to the downtown area, it would be nice to have one back again.

    Does anyone know about how many people are living downtown now?

  2. The real question that needs to be addressed is who this contractor that Mayor Leyens brought in from California to refurbished the Valley. Second is this California friend of his being shown cronism and special favors. Now Laurence Leyens has been quiet on the Valley issue. In this era of the information there are no more secrets. I like to know who this contractor is.
    I can tell you some of friends who have been downtown has told be it has become deader and deader. And I suspect the locals are getting sick of the local predjuice business oligarchy hiding thier secrets from the public. Leyens hides behind lawyers. It’s about time he do some explaining. From what I’ve gleamed on Live From the Klondike, the mayor wants his renovated Valley to be corporate apartments. Given the subprime mess,housing sells to continue as they are,I doubt if anyone is going to move into those corporate apartments.

  3. Mayor Leyens will be the featured guest on “Live at the Klondyke” next Wednesday the 24th. The show airs from 7:30 to 9:00am on 1490AM.

    For the record, he announced on his last visit to the show that he was no longer the owner of the Valley.

  4. The mayor does not own the Valley and I’m not sure that he ever has.

    Sure, he can be difficult and overbearing at times; but he has done a great deal for this community. Fact is, he has made a whole lot more money outside of public service and he could again.

    Until his detractors find a viable alternative candidate there is no reason to continue a witch-hunt that may weaken his chances or discourage him from running again.

    We do have a number of public officials who have not been successful outside of the tax rolls. They are far more apt to engage in corruption and favoritism. Sadly, they don’t even have the talents to be effective when honest.

    Though I too am not completely comfortable with the Mayor, there is no doubt he is by far the most effective leader this city has had in many, many years.

  5. The question is now who has he sold the Valley too? This town’s iditioc drawback is that still people have to find out through rumors and word of mouth. The last time when he was on the radio he didn’t disclose who th owner is.

  6. Skipper,

    Get out of my head. My thoughts exactly on the Mayor Leyens and those serving in public office.



  7. Skipper, I only have one thing to say. The Mayor has made a whole lot of money while he has been in office just like he did before he went in office. He has picked up a good bit of real estate deals by being on the inside, not to mention raising his own salary. I sure wish I could raise my own salary, especially as much as he did.

    I have always said Mayor Leyens has done a lot of good things for this city. I give credit where credit is due. But, he has darned sure looked out for himself every step of the way.

  8. Is this gonna Kill You? No i Dont Think so !

  9. Being on the inside of this podunk is real big problem. Samething happened with former Mayor Joe Loviza and alderman Don Miller. The city bought the property for convention center from Miller.
    Inside deals don’t get a community anywhere. But this permit with the Valley has to be shed some more light on. I believe this inside property business has given this community to an unwelcome sign to businesses who want to come here.
    I heard some commercial property is up for a million dollars. Just drive around town there’s a lot of commercial property that hasn’t been bought. I wouldn’t be surprise the overvaluve price has some telling the Mayor “No thank you.”

  10. When I drove by there early Tuesday morning a permit was posted on the window. I didn’t get out to inspect the permit, but it was on the south side of the building, ground level.



  12. Dear me Mrs. Beauman, why are you shouting? I belive the issue is related to Mr. Leyens (or the current owner) and the “possible” failer in obtaining required permits and not “putting our best foot forward”. And your “anoymous for a good reason!”? Come on Laura, please keep to the topic, huh?

  13. Laura you’re off topic here. Shouting here on the forum isn’t going to get you no where here. And don’t make accussations of charactor assasinations on this board. It shows a lack respect and worst it shows bad nettique in my opinion. Either stay on topic or don’t post at all;there’s a lot of smart people here.

  14. Skipper, I could’t agree with you more regarding the progress that Mayor Leyes has made for the City of Vicksburg. There may be some things in questions concering his “business deals” but given the choice of Leyens or other previous Mayors I would vote Leyens again. It seems that all politicans “make money” when in office — guess that it’s an inside job? One thing that bothers me is his support for Mr. Hubbard for District 5 Superintendent. Gives me concern of who will be controlling District 5.

  15. On this work permit issue. Work permits must be obtained for structural, electrical, plumbing or any other change to a structure that may cause damage to itself or it’s community. The work being done at the Valley was cosmetic, painting and clearing of the floors. Neither of which requires a permit.

    Secondly I think at this point in his administration and especially after all the recent Architectural Board brouhaha Mayor Leyens and his staff are keen on ensuring everything is done properly.

    Obviously this site does not like Mayor Leyens.

    What cannot be questioned is the benefit Vicksburg has received from his leadership in this community. Like him or not he is the best administrator in a very long time. Vicksburg is flourishing and going through unprecedented growth while the rest of the nation is not. This site has been very adept at pointing to ‘the collapse of our empire’ while casting stones at the man who had led us into a period of tremendous economic growth. Why does the success of this administration cause so much angst?

    We should be happy to be insulated from the economic turmoil the rest of the nation is suffering. We have increased manufacturing jobs here. We have increased technology jobs here. We have increased housing starts and over one billion dollars worth of commercial investment over the last 4 years. We are bucking the national trend.

    We complain about the quality of our leaders and those who run for office. I understand why people don’t run for office here. You can get elected, lead the area into the greatest period of economic development it has ever seen, create more jobs than ever before and still have to put up with petty, unsubstantiated and malicious attacks from people who are just unhappy.

    Be positive Vicksburg, and you will see positive things around you and become very proud of your community.

  16. David I disagree with the word insulation for economic suffering the rest of the country is going through. I had macreconomics in college. I talk to my friends and they want to see more jobs come to here. How can they? When your market price of property is overpriced and gas prices are to high for town and county that hasn’t growned.
    People here to have a right to question thier public officals. And questions should be raised about the District 5 relationship to Mayor Leyens. Hubbard use to work in the city I might add.

  17. Chuck, I have to respectfully disagree on land values. Vicksburg is still a steal. While prices may have increased locally from what they once were, compared to nationwide home prices and general cost of living this place is CHEAP!

    There are calculators on the internet that compare home cost in one city vs another. Take a gander and compare Vicksburg to any city in the country. You will find cheaper and more available homes in Jackson and places like Detroit, but when you factor in quality of life we remain a deal.

    I agree that people have the right to question their officials. I would hope the questioning would be done from the standpoint that the official has done the right thing. Not the standpoint of they are a criminal and we are the prosecuting attorneys.

    An inflammatory question will plant the seed of discontent in ones mind. Senator Joe Biden gave a great example during the Judge Thomas approval process. He said “…if I ask you do you still beat your wife?” I have inferred that you beat your wife regardless of your marital status. That is an inflammatory question.

    It is tough to get quality people to run for office, we are blessed in Vicksburg with good, honest public officials who have the best interest of the people, as they understand it, at heart. You will not find finer people on the planet than a Sid Beauman or David McDonald. Mayor Leyens has done a great deal to improve the city and continues to lead well despite the non-stop personal attacks and accusations. Love him or hate him you cannot deny the good that has happened under his administration.

    I understand where you are coming from, I just ask that we focus in a more positive direction and look for the good before we assume the worst.

  18. A note to David… This site neither likes nor dislikes Mayor Leyens. It strives to be totally neutral on all issues. This topic came about as a result of a reader’s interest and input; we will always consider such input, and will place it on the blog if we consider it newsworthy. Vicksburg Speaks.

  19. As for land values,how come commerical property signs are still up? Near McAllisters that property hasn’t been sold. And near where I work the property here is overpriced at a million dollars. I can tell along Clay Street toward Bovina I haven’t seen much economic development. If commercial property here is overpriced by some narrowed minded realtors. Well they made the mistake now for some aren’t going to buy expensice property. And check out the vacant bldgs around downtown close to the River. What’s going to be done about those eh?

  20. Vicksburg The Worst Real Estate Investment in America!

    The 10 Worst Things about Real Estate in Vicksburg

    David you are definitely an optimist and im happy for you that you are so positive and up beat. But I do not believe that your attitude or mood is based on any actual fact that you personally have experienced in the Vicksburg real estate market. So let me give you just a few real estate facts that I personally experienced.

    Fact #1. I purchased over 10 historic homes in Vicksburg put thousands of dollars into each one over a 5 year period of time and lost my shirt on just about everyone of them!

    Fact #2. I bought one old historic 4 plex from the bank and the city cited it time and time again from the first owner for the screens being torn out. So I bought it and restored it and in less then 90 days all the screens were torn out! And then I started having the same problems that the previous owner had! Today that place looks much as it did before we restored it. It’s a mess!

    Fact #3. It took us 4 months to restore 4 apartments up to city codes and two different tenants destroyed them in less then 90 days!

    Not one but both refrigerators were so clogged with maggots that both brand new refrigerators were broken from the maggots. Something the appliance dealers have not seen in 20 years!

    Fact #4. I turned both tenants over to a local attorney for collection, and yes he collected but i never received a penny.

    Fact #5. I had an ex construction worker break into one of the homes we restored on cherry st right across from the old mansion,and stole all of our power tools. The neighbor was an eye witness and told police who it was and nothing was ever done. Never added it to the report it was not important to them.

    The guy got away with the first burglary so he broke into our other building on Washington street and stole an entire brand new central air unit. A Vicksburg Detective called me about that one but i never heard another word he was never arrested and a report was never taken.

    I guess one way to keep crime down is not to report it right?

    Fact #6. Out of 10 properties with about 20 completely refurbished units my average time of occupancy was about 4 months or so.—-Not great but at least they were rented and they were paying for themselves.

    I do believe i was dealing with some of the poorest people in America. I did everything in my power to work with people and work with there budget, job but the fact was they did not have the money at all and had little opportunity to get it if they lived in Vicksburg. And no im not talking about $600 a month rents with high profile people living in them. Im talking about $300 a month some of the cheapest rent in the city and they still did not have the money to pay the rent. It was truly a sad situation._____Why is it the newspapers, the politicians and the optimist never seem to see this fact. And that fact is that the a vast majority of Vicksburg citizens (the poor) seem to have been left out of the social and economic loop for a long, long time.

    Fact #7. Then the local Vicksburg Post newspaper tried and convicted me for the old Thomas building falling, rather then in the courts our occupancy went down to nothing!!

    Fact #8. The fact was because of all the negative press by The Vicksburg Post, lies and innuendos by the administration, I could not rent the properties nor could i sell them at the current market price. We just about gave them away at a very big loss, gave a couple back to the bank and donated one to our local church.

    It was interesting but before I bought my first downtown building not one, not two, but several downtown business owners told me not to buy there that they were basically run out of business by the Vicksburg Mayor and administration.____________I wish I could turn the pages back i would have listened to those people.

    Fact #9. Those real estate investments could have been sound without the intervention of the Vicksburg Post Newspaper or the City of Vicksburg.Instead it cost my wife and I every penny we have made and saved from the last 20 years of our lives.

    Fact #10. As an aging small business man that works all day and stays home with his family at night, I have no need for glory or recognition. But coming to a small town of 27,000 with very little industry or business coming its way, I found it odd that after 10 historic restorations and relocating a fairly large internet business. Not once, not one time were we ever visited by the mayor, a councilman or any city official about what we do, how we do it and what were our plans in Vicksburg. Not one time.__________I don’t know but if I were the mayor of a small town where 40% of the population lived below the poverty line, crack and crystal meth addiction was rampant. I would want to meet, greet and interact with small or large businesses that came to my city. But hey thats just me!

    Oh yea on the real estate positive side!___I did make a few dollars off of the old downtown Pecan Building. King Lawrence Leyens basically ran the prior owner out of town and almost out of business so i bought it at a distressed price.____________I guess thats one way to create opportunity!

    Preston Reuther
    “Business is much like war and people that are working with the Generals way behind the lines don’t really know whats going on with the troops that are in the front lines unless they have a wound”

  21. Preston here’s another fact that isn’t been reported by the Vicksburg Post either. In Jackson over two hundered homes had been foreclosed on;local realtors on the radio show are trying to say that the Vicksburg real estate market is insulated from market forces like the subprime mortgage. They’re making false claims that this port is bucking trends like Brandon,Ridgeland and Madison are. It turns it not has been case. I’ve seen overpriced residental homes here and my friends have been telling me no homes haven’t been sold. There is no such thing insulation in the markets anymore.

  22. Hearing Ricky Caldwell on the radio talking about economic progress. Is frankly irksome. one if there is progress real economic progerss-where is it? How come the Cerese complex hasn’t been filled with an industry. And how come real estare is overpriced where residents who have saleries between 20,000 to 40,000 can’t afford homes? And don’t try explain off the fact that this is booming. Those of us who have lived here haven’t seen it. Second where is the new cinema some have been harping about? The bowling alley as well? We’re getting tired on people pulling the wool over our eys. U can talk a good game but where are your results? Money is leaving this port and some of u can’t face that reality.

  23. The City did not buy the property for the Convention Center from me. It was bought from Mr. Burton Brown who owned the “Tic Toc” and others. The site was chosen by a committee of the Chamber of Commerce who felt very strongly about the Convention Center’s being downtown. Mayor Loviza, Alderwoman Young and I agreed with them. The committee looked at several downtown sites and decided that this location was best. We then proceeded to buy the properties needed.

    The City did purchase my building located across the street about two years later. It was one of several properties bought, all at fair market value as established by appraisers hired by the new administration.

    Finally, anyone who knows what was there prior to the Convention Center has got to agree that the entire downtown area is much improved.

  24. smitty you are right the small grocery was known to many as nossers store

  25. and it was where rustys resturant is now

  26. As a public official Leyens should at least release the dollor amount on his family property the Valley. Why? it could clear things up and I wonder if he knew this San Diego Contractor who purchased the Valley personally. But as public official he should release the dollar amount.

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