Sunday, October 6, 2019

Spillway Road Widening Project Continues

Looking west on Spillway Road just west of the intersection with Hugh Ward Blvd. 
Turning west onto Spillway Road from Hugh Ward Blvd. should be a bit easier soon.  As is evident on the ground, the Mississippi Department of Transportation is adding a westbound lane to Spillway Road from the intersection of Hugh Ward Blvd. west toward Old Fannin.  Work is also occurring on the southern end of North Shore Parkway.

I have personally sat through multiple cycles of the traffic signal at Hugh Ward and Spillway (usually when I'm late to my son's soccer game or practice), so this expansion project is undoubtedly a welcome sight.  According to wlbt.com, the project also includes upgrades to the traffic signal, so presumably, both northbound lanes on Hugh Ward will be permitted to turn left (west) onto Spillway.

The project budget is approximately $1.8 million with about 20% of that ($360k) coming from Rankin County and the remainder from the Mississippi DOT. 

Here is the Rankin County Board of Supervisors' action in December 2018 analyzing the project bids and authorizing the project (subject to MDOT approval).  I hope to post the actual construction contract or at least the time for completion (i.e. the date that liquidated damages start to accrue for the contractor) as that provides value here.

This is certainly a welcome project, but the Old Fannin Road - Spillway Road intersection is likely to become more of a bottleneck in the future. 


Looking north on North Shore Parkway




Monday, August 26, 2019

Fresenius Clinic Coming to Belle Meade/Flowood Area



Construction at the former Fire Mountain Grill/Knock Out Fitness is in preparation for a new Fresenius Clinic.

Fresenius operates kidney care and dialysis clinics. Fresenius is a German company although some shares trade directly on the NYSE under symbol $FMS.  Fresenius operates approximately 2,400 facilities in North America and there are 6 other facilities within 10 miles of Flowood.

Requests to Fresenius for more information are pending but since Mississippi still requires certain healthcare facilities to obtain a certificate of need, there is an interesting document available below that supports the approval of the CON application and essentially confirms the future use of the property.
A few interesting notes from the above report:

  • The facility is estimated to generate gross patient revenue of $3.3MM in the first year with approximately 71% of that revenue generated by Medicare and approximately 26% from commercial sources. 
  • The facility's assumed charge per procedure is $712 while the corresponding assumed cost per procedure is $543 in the first year.  
  • Total proposed capital expenditures were $3,865,678 with $975k attributable to land cost.  

This seems like a good project and investment in the area that turns a vacant building into productive use and makes life a little bit easier and convenient for Rez area Fresenius patients.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Lake Harbour Drive Extension Under Construction

Progress continues on the City of Ridgeland's extension of Lake Harbor Drive.  The extension project will allow travel from Spillway road west to Highland Colony (via a bridge over I-55).

The road will include sidewalks and a multipurpose trail. 

Unfortunately, as evident in the picture above, there will not be any interstate access as, according to city leaders, it's too close to the Natchez Trace exit (immediately north) and I-220 junction (immediately south). 

Nonetheless, another east-west corridor for Reservoir area residents is helpful.

Although the new road doesn't make I-55 significantly more accessible, it will make trips to the new Costco easier.  Costco is currently under construction just north of where the new road intersects with Highland Colony. 

The project is estimated to cost approximately $22 million, with 80% of the cost paid by federal funds. 

Completion is scheduled in the summer of 2020.     





Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Rankin County Sample Primary Ballots

With the primary election less than one month away, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the ballot and determine your candidate of choice.

Democratic Primary

Republican Primary

Note - These ballots contain all positions for all districts.  Depending on your residence, you will only vote on certain local district races and  your actual ballot will be shortened accordingly.

The Rankin County side of the Rez is generally the following districts:

House District 59 - Brent Powell(R) - Incumbent - Unopposed

House District 74 - This district is generally south of Lakeland Drive and Brandon proper but includes a small portion of Flowood Proper fairly close to the Rez. This is formerly Mark Baker's Seat.  Former State Senator Lee Yancey(R) will face off against Jason McCarty (D) in the general election for this seat.

House 75 - (Northern part of Rez and eastern Rankin County)
Tom Miles (D) - Incumbent v. Vance Cox (R)

Senate - 20 - Josh Harkins (R) - Unopposed

Senate - 30 - This district includes a small portion of Flowood proper near the Rez but is primarily Pearl.  Dean Kirby (R) - Unopposed

County Supervisor District 2 - Daniel Cross - Unopposed
County Supervisor District 5 - Jay Bishop - Unopposed
Justice Court District 2 - See Ballots
Justice Court District 4 - See Ballots
Constable District - TBD

You can look at your voter registration card, this map, or call the circuit clerk to determine your specific district.

Not sure what to make of all the unopposed races.  Congrats to the winners by default, but I would welcome the policy debates that a true race brings.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Flowood Sheraton and Conference Center: Busting Through the Trees Soon

The 10 story tall Sheraton hotel and conference center are under construction and will soon be tall enough to see from miles away.  This is going to be a great addition to the area along with the renovated Refuge golf course.  

According to this WLBT article, its a $50 million project.  

Hotel is scheduled to open in late 2020.  Golf course opens in late 2019.  




Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Northwest Rankin High School and other Rankin County School Bond Issue Projects



RCSD is making progress on the new high school and several other schools in the Reservoir Area.  Note the name of the school in the rendering.  Interesting.

RCSD's website has other project Renderings and Progress Photos available.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Coming Soon: Community Place Nursing Home

The Community Place Nursing Home is coming to 116 Lake Vista Place; Brandon, MS 39047. 


Friday, May 17, 2019

Rankin County GIS Tool

Rankin County and the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District (CMPDD) have a great geographical information system (GIS).

The GIS tool is available at http://gis.cmpdd.org/rankinnew/

PRV also has a Reservoir centric GIS tool at http://gis.cmpdd.org/rez/

The interactive GIS mapping tool lets you select various layers to see how the selected layers apply to specific property.  There are several different layers including parcels, which shows general property lines and property ownership (note this is presumably based on older tax information and not a survey), political districts, school zones, regulatory districts, transportation and utility assets, and a plethora of other geographical data affecting the Reservoir and Rankin County.

Here is a screenshot of the "Reservoir Community District", which looks to be the same thing as the Reservoir Overlay District, a county zoning regulation associated with land near the Rez but not in Flowood city limits.


You can select any of the layers and manipulate the zoom to obtain the specific data in which you're interested.

This is a great tool that we'll highlight further in the future.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Monday, September 24, 2018

When Fishing, Better Bring Bucket Labeled "Trash"

Below is a press release concerning a proposed regulation regarding trash.  Please understand that this is not yet a binding regulation -- it is simply in the comment phase.  If you have comments, send them to the PRVWSD at comments@therez.ms.

Media Release
For Immediate Release
24 September 2018
PRVWSD plan: Fishermen must carry trash receptacle
Board trying to curb litter on Barnett Reservoir banks

Looking to end a continuing problem of litter on the banks of the Barnett Reservoir and especially at the Spillway Recreation Area, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District passed a proposed regulation Thursday that would require fishermen to carry a dedicated trash receptacle while fishing at the 33,000-acre lake.

Boaters are already required to have a trash container, and the new proposal would cover “any person, firm, or corporation fishing from the shore or bank of the Main Lake or any dyke, levy, groin, jetty or more appurtenant to the waters within the Reservoir Project Area.”
By container, the proposal includes the language, “a container marked ‘Thrash’ with stencil or other clear markings for the disposal of garbage or refuse.”

Kenny Latham, chairman of PRVWSD’s Parks Policy Committee, said the intent is to require a bucket of some type and not a bag, and give officers an enforceable litter law.

“This proposal came from meetings with fishermen, and was actually their idea,” Latham said. “It has the support of the Spillway Fishing Group and Keep the Reservoir Beautiful, and KRB is hoping to contribute bright orange labels like a bumper sticker that has ‘Trash’ on it.

“What it does is give enforcement officers a more enforceable law regarding litter on the banks. As it stands now, an officer must see the person drop the trash and then leave, which could be hours later. Once this law is in effect, the officer will have a tool to help stop littering - if you’re fishing and do not have a container, you could be ticketed.”

Under Mississippi’s Administrative Procedures Act, the proposal must undergo a mandatory comment period beginning the day it is posted by the Secretary of State. Comments can be made by email to comments@therez.ms, or by land mail to PRVWSD Comments, P.O. Box 2180, Ridgeland MS 39158.

After that time, the Board of Directors can move to take final action on the proposal, and the law would be effective 30 days later, which should be on or about Jan. 1, 2019.
Violations of the law would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $1,000.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Jennifer Hall Re-Elected President of PRVWSD Board

MEDIA RELEASE
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

September 21, 2018

Hall to remain PRVWSD Board President
Current slate of officers reelected unanimously Thursday

Jennifer Hall of Brandon was reelected Thursday to a second one-year term as president of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Board of Directors.

Hall, who was appointed to the board by Gov. Phil Bryant in 2016 as a representative of Rankin County, is the ninth President - and the first female to hold the position - since PRVWSD was formed in 1958.

At the September PRVWSD board meeting, all current officers were unanimously re-elected, including Vice President Billy Cook of Carthage and Secretary Phillip Crosby of Leake County.

Two PRVWSD staff members will continue to assist the Board; Deputy Director Susan McMullan will continue to act as Treasurer and Executive Assistant Cindy Ford will remain as Assistant Board Secretary.

PRVWSD is a state agency that oversees operation of Barnett Reservoir. Its Board of Directors has 14 members that include two each from the five counties that border its property (Hinds, Leake, Madison, Rankin and Scott), and four representatives of state agencies (Health, Forestry, Environmental Quality, and Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks). Eight of the 14 must be leaseholders of PRVWSD, including both members from Madison and Rankin counties and all four agency appointments.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Troy Odom for Chancery Judge

My campaign for Rankin County Chancery Judge has understandably usurped much of the time I spent blogging on this site.  I'd like to share a video from the campaign trail.  I'd also appreciate your vote on November 6.


This video was paid for by The Friends of Troy Odom and approved by me.

Pearl River Clean Sweep Pics

By all accounts, the Pearl River Clean Sweep was a success.  Tons of refuse dragged from the bowels of the river by hundreds of volunteers.  Go to the following sites for pics:

  - Pearl Riverkeeper Facebook Page.