Thursday, September 30, 2010

PRVWSD Fiscal Year 2011 Budget

Below is a portion of the FY2011 budget for the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. The first page is revenue sources and the following pages break down the expenditures.

While most of the revenue categories are self explanatory a few need a little help.
  • Lease income is annual fees paid to the PRV by residential and commercial leaseholders
  • Assignment Fees are the revenues made when leases are transferred. Example: when a house on the reservoir sells the PRV collects $190 to transfer the lease into the buyers name.
  • Misc Income would be things like franchise fees from cable tv companies and revenue from the recent seismic activity on and around the lake.
  • Development Cost Recovery is the "up front" money paid by a person or company that leases land from the PRV.
  • MMEIA Water Line Contract is the money received to provide water to the Nissan Plant.
  • Misc Grant is money received from governmental or private agencies.
You will notice a rather large discrepancy in income and expenses. Revenues for FY2011 are $13.7 million and expenses are $16.5 million.

The difference is in the way grant money is accounted for.

The PRVWSD prepares an expense budget based on an assumption of receiving grant money. If a grant is received over the course of the year it can't be spent unless it was projected on the expense budget.

The net is this, grants are an unknown. If they don't get grant money from the feds then their annual expenses will track very close to the projected $13.7 revenue total.

Lastly is head count. The PRVWSD budget show 117 full time employees and 1 temporary. The employees fall into the following categories.

  • 62 maintenance
  • 19 administrative
  • 11 police force
  • 25 parks/campgrounds

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Town Hall Meeting

The Central Mississippi Tea Party is hosting a Town Hall Meeting featuring United States Senator Roger Wicker.

The meeting will be at the Northwest Rankin High School auditorium on Tuesday October 12, 2010. Doors open at 5:15pm and the program begins at 6:00pm.

Senator Wicker will take questions from the audience.

Click on the picture above to enlarge.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

More Old Reservoir News

We promise to get back to "conventional" news soon and hope everyone has enjoyed reading about the early days of the reservoir. 

Today we bring you pages 3 through 8 of the July 1965 Reservoir News and Views.

To see it click HERE.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

History Or Memories

Depending on your age you may find today's post either educational or a trip down memory lane, possibly both.

The Reservoir News and Views began publishing in 1965. Editor and publisher W. E. "Bill" Gupton and manager Doris M. Gupton produced a newspaper that was the primary source of information about the happenings at the reservoir.  Anyone catching a nice "mess" of fish in those days would probably be featured somewhere within its pages.

We were unable to locate any information about the Gupton's, if anyone has any knowledge of them please share it with us.

The heading across the top of the paper declared its content:


Over the next week We will publish the entire contents of the 5th volume of the paper dated July 1965.

The cover story was about the dedication ceremonies for the Ross Barnett Reservoir and featured pictures of Governor Ross Barnett, the reservoirs namesake.

It is truly a piece of history.

Pages 1 and 2 can be seen HERE.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Monday, September 27, 2010

Representation, What's Your Opinion?

The following article appeared in the Jackson Daily News on January 14, 1974.

Reservoir Residents Seek Decision Voice

By Bill Pardue
Daily News Staff Writer

Rep. Jim Morrow of Rankin County and a civic organization have joined forces to help give Ross Barnett Reservoir residents a "degree of self-government."

Morrow has filed a bill which would increase membership of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District to 17 members, adding three directors selected from reservoir homeowners. The Reservoir Jaycees are backing the measure. The 40 man group maintains the supply district's board acts as the reservoir's "city council."

Jaycee President David Fleming said the district's board is responsible for municipal-type services, including road maintenance, fire and police protection, water and sewerage and garbage collection.  

But the 300 families now living on the reservoir have no direct voice in the district board's decisions, Fleming said this morning at a Capitol news conference.  He said they pay Rankin taxes and an average of $250 annual rental for reservoir lots.  The Jaycee president stressed most families are satisfied with the board's performance, but wish to be represented in the decision-making process.

Morrow's legislation asks the governor appoint three reservoir residents to the board. The governor already appoints five persons nominated from a field of 15 offered by county supervisors.

Counties directly name five others and four representative of state agencies complete the governing body.

Morrow predicted the bill has an "excellent" chance of passage.

The bill didn't pass and the board's 14 members are chosen the same way today as in 1974. Of course it should be noted that 3 members of the current board live on reservoir property, 1 in Madison County and 2 in Rankin County.

Much has changed in the last 36 years. The number of families is now over 5000 and the PRVWSD no longer provides road maintenance, fire protection, or garbage collection. Those services, along with police protection for the residential areas, are provided by the county or local municipality.

Despite giving up many services they still maintain some "local government" functions such as:
  • Maintain a Building and Permit department that issues permits and enforces building codes. 
  • Exercises absolute control over land use for all reservoir property
  • Operates a water/sewer department for leaseholders
  • Enforces ordinances on rental property 
  • Enforces a property maintenance code for all residential/commercial structures
The PRVWSD is a unique entity, a Mississippi State Agency that, among other things, performs some functions of a local government.  They get no money from the State for operations, instead the majority of their funds come from fees paid by the leaseholders who have no elected representation on the board.

So, the question is still valid.

Should reservoir area residents have more representation on the PRVWSD Board Of Directors?

We'd like to hear what you think about that question or any other comments/suggestions about the management of the Rez.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

49 Years Ago

On September 24, 1961 the Clarion Ledger declared that the construction of the reservoir had reached a major milestone. That was the day the waters of the Pearl River were routed into a diversion channel and allowed to flow through the newly constructed spillway for the first time.

We have a copy of the article and photos in a link below, however, the photo quality is not good. The map below explains the process.

The light blue area is the Main Lake, the broken black line separating Madison and Rankin Counties is the Pearl River, and the brown diagonal line is the dam. You can see that the original course of the Pearl crossed the dam west of the spillway, then turned eastward then back south.

The construction of the spillway took place well away from the river, when it was completed a diversion canal was built that sent the waters from the river through the spillway. The diversion canal is in yellow.

With the waters of the Pearl going through the spillway the dam could be completed.

The newspaper article is a PDF file, you may need to use the zoom function of Adobe Acrobat Reader to improve the quality of the document. See it HERE.

Friday, September 24, 2010

An Old Fishing Report

If you want to know where the fish are biting then check Bobby Cleveland's column in Thursday's Clarion Ledger.

If you want to know where they were biting in 1967 then you've come to the right place.

The article attached to today's bit of history is a reprint from the December 1967 edition of Field and Stream Magazine written by legendary sports personality Grits Gresham. If you're not familiar with Grits then you might enjoy reading about him HERE.

Grits fished the reservoir with local bass fishing legend Don Norton. The article is about their fishing trip but is also a great piece of history about the development of the reservoir.

We hope you enjoy it.

Click HERE to see it.

Article printed with permission.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Railroad Update

A few comments about the railroad mentioned in an earlier post. (here)

Prior to the reservoir there was a Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio Railroad line that ran across what is now the eastern side of the main lake. The brochure, mentioned in the link above, said the following:

The details for the moving of 5.2 miles of the Gulf Mobile and Ohio Railroad have been organized and contract has been let. Work is well along.

The map above shows the original railroad line, it entered the proposed lake area where the emergency spillway is today . (The gravel portion of the dam across from the Rapids parking lot.) The line proceeded North then veered north easterly on a path that took it to where the Palisades subdivision is today.

When the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District acquired the property for the main lake the railroad had to be relocated. The new railroad became the line that separated the main lake from Pelahatchie Bay and was an active railroad until being abandoned in the early 1980's. Years later that railroad was re-engineered into a road that opened up the North Shore for development. We now call that "New" railroad bed The Northshore Parkway.

Many fishermen find the submerged railroad a great spot for bass and crappie fishing.

Next time you head across the dam on the upper road look about a quarter of a mile north of the public fishing pier. Often there are boats fishing the area, there are steep drop offs where the railroad grade approached and crossed Pelahatchie Creek.

Remember, you can enlarge the map above by clicking on it.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir 

Rankin To Madison Budget Comparison

A recent article about the FY 2011 budget for Rankin County raised a question from a reader. (Original article HERE.)

We passed it on to the Rankin County Administrator, Mr. Clovis Reed and thought you might be interested in the Q and the A.

The question:

Our budget (Rankin County) is $124,000,000 and Madison County's is $70.9 million. Is Rankin county that much larger than Madison county? What would be the explanation for the difference between the two?

The answer:

This is a good observation and question. 

Yes, Rankin County is considerably larger than Madison County both in land mass and population. Rankin County is 805.9 square miles with a total population of 143,124, compared to Madison County at 741.7 square miles and 93,097 total population. Especially important is that the majority of Rankin County residents (53%) live in unincorporated areas and in Madison County this number is considerably lower at 38%. This translates into more people to serve over a larger area and, consequently, a larger operating budget.

Additionally, Rankin County’s budget for next year is larger than normal because of the anticipated expenditure of bond funds on the numerous infrastructure projects underway across the County. Our normal operating budget is closer to $100 million and, like many local governments, the Board of Supervisors cut budgets and reduced total operating expenses for the coming year. Our budget will reflect the normal operating level when bond funded projects are completed.

Proudly, the Rankin County Board of Supervisors has maintained the lowest property tax of any of the most populated counties in the state. 

Thanks for the question.

Clovis Reed
County Administrator
Rankin County
211 E. Government St. Suite A
Brandon, MS 39042

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weekend Events

A reminder about a couple of events coming up this weekend.

WellsFest is Saturday, more info can be found HERE.

Sunday is GermanFest in Gluckstadt. More info about that HERE.

Early Reservoir Brochure

Continuing with "History Week"........

Today's installment is a brochure that appears to have been produced in late 1962 or early 1963. It's an information booklet that explains the justifications for building the reservoir and provides an update on its construction. Some financial data is presented and the original Board Of Directors are listed.

To view click HERE

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Railroad

An early shot, probably dates to the late 1960's, shows part of the Main Lake and Pelahatchie Bay.   The bare spot of land in the lower left is where Lake Harbor Marina was constructed.  If you zoom in (by clicking on the photo) you can see the steel frame of the boat storage warehouse and the boat slips along the waters edge.  To the right of the inlet is what would become Lakeshore Park.

The upper portion of the photo shows what we now call Northshore Parkway and the Trestle.  In those days it was a railroad.  Long time residents of the reservoir will remember the sound of the trains passing.  The railroads abandoned the line in the early 1980's.  The tracks were removed and the road bed sat bare for many years until it was reworked to become the road we know today.

The area above the railroad line is Pelahatchie Bay.

Photos are from the collection of Mr. James Lacey and published with his permission.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Monday, September 20, 2010

Another Oldie

Another photo from Mr. Lacey's collection.

Not sure of the date on this one but somewhere around 1970. This is the Main Harbor area, taken before The Dock, The Breakers, The Cock of The Walk and lots of houseboats.

Wait, what is that?  Could it be a sign? It's very small and hard to read appears to say.....


Wonder what that means?  

Remember, you can click on the photo to enlarge it.

Picture published with Mr. Lacey's permission.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Sunday, September 19, 2010

50 Years Ago

Wonder what the Ross Barnett Reservoir dam looked like 50 years ago today?  Notice the date penciled on top of the picture, 9/19/60, fifty years ago.  This aerial photo shows the Pearl River flowing across what would become the dam, construction of the spillway had not yet started. The lower left portion of the picture is Madison County, across the river is Rankin County.  
This photo is from a collection by Mr. Jim Lacey, a reporter with the Madison County Herald when the Ross Barnett Reservoir was being constructed.  

We have a number of the photos and will post them over the coming days.   

You can click on the picture to enlarge it.    

Photo's published with Mr. Lacey's permission

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mississippi State Fair


With temps hovering in the mid nineties it is hard to believe that the Mississippi State Fair is only a few weeks away. Dates are October 5th through October 17th.

The headliner this year is The Hank Williams Jr. Rowdy Friends Show.

But, don't be blinded by the bright lights of a Nashville Star. The sleeper event this year may be the Mr. Legs Contest. Categories include:
  • Longest legs
  • Skinniest legs
  • Shortest legs
  • Hairiest lets
As usual, the fair commission has spared no expense to bring you world class entertainment.

There is a great web page where you can view the schedules AND download an entry form to the Mr. Legs Contest. Get it HERE.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Copy Of Trustee's Notice Of Sale On Mandalay

For those who don't get the Clarion Ledger.

A copy of the foreclosure notice BankPlus has filed against Mandalay.  More information in a previous post HERE.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Mandalay Foreclosure

It's official, BankPlus has foreclosed on Mandalay Development LLC. The legal notice is posted in the September 17 edition of the Clarion Ledger and will be posted 3 additional times, September 24th, October 1, and October 8. Mandalay was the leaseholder of the old Rapids On The Reservoir property and had proposed a condo development for the site.

After the required postings the leaseholder interest in the old Rapids property will be offered for sale to the highest bidder on October 12, 2010 at the Rankin County Courthouse.

What does this mean?

The operative word in the notice is leaseholder interest.  The property is owned by the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, what is for sale is the lease on the property.

The lease specifies what the property can be used for, in this case condo's.  Any new owner would have two options, follow the original specifications of the lease or come up with a new plan and present it to the PRVWSD Board for approval.

Given the realities of the real estate market it is likely that the property is going to sit idle for some time to come.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Property Inspections Around The Rez

The PRV Board met Thursday and received an update on Property Maintenance Code violations, here is what they heard:
  • 107 complaints have been filed
  • 76 letters have been written to property owners informing them of a violation
  • 8 extensions have been granted to people working on addressing violations
  • 13 files have been closed after meeting compliance
  • 3 letters of progress have been sent
  • 3 citations have been written
  • No court cases scheduled yet
  • 9 letters returned due to vacant or foreclosed properties or incorrect address
  • 9 complaints invalidated
  • 8 complaints processes last week with letters mailed Friday Sept. 10
  • 22 inspections done last week
  • 6 complaints inspected this week
  • 11 followup inspections scheduled Sept 27
  • 6 followup inspections scheduled Oct 1
  • 9 followup inspections scheduled Oct 15
Mr. Steve Clark is the PRV inspector responsible for this program, as you can see he has been busy.

The PRV is serious about cleaning up the area, note that 3 citations were written to folks who didn't heed the warning letter. Once ticketed a person has to appear in Justice Court and may face a fine up to $1000 and/or 15 days in jail.

The PRV's Adoption of the International Property Maintenance Code (2006) is going to have a tremendous impact on cleaning up neglected property around the Barnett Reservoir.

To report a suspected violation call the PRV Building Department at 601-856-6574, they accept anonymous callers. Anonymous complaints can also be filed online by clicking HERE.

The PRV has adopted the first 3 chapters of the IPMC, you can read that document HERE.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Greetings From Mississippi

Someone sent us a link to a very interesting web site with photos and stories about Mississippi people and places.

Warning, there are a few spots with strong language so if that offends you then stay away.  But, the majority of the site if very entertaining with some great photography and historical tidbits.

The site has multiple pages, when you reach the bottom of a page click the "Older" tag to go forward.      

Hope you enjoy it.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

More Flu Shots

Wal-Mart is offering flu and pneumonia shots at their Flowood store.  Nurses will be available from 11:00am till 6:00pm until September 26th.

The shots cost $24 but if you are on Medicare or have private insurance you may qualify for a freebie. 

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Billboards, The Final Chapter

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Shoreline Committee met on Monday and the topic of billboards was on the agenda.

John Sigman, the Executive Director of the PRV, informed the committee that Lamar Advertising had withdrawn their request to place a sign at the intersection of Old Fannin and Spillway Rd.  After some discussion the committee agreed that the current PRV sign ordinance, which prohibits billboards, will be enforced.

The bottom line - there will be no billboards on PRV property.

Mr. Sigman received numerous emails on the topic, some of our readers have sent us copies of his response back to them, below is a copy.

At the Monday meeting of the Shoreline Development Committee, the issue of billboards was put to rest. Billboards are not allowed by our sign regulations and billboards will not be allowed on any PRVWSD property. Thank you for your comments and interest.

John Sigman

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

O Christmas Tree Part II

We recently told you that a Christmas Tree sale might take place in the parking lot of the old Rapids location and a portion of the sales would benefit The Blair E. Batson Childrens Hospital. (original post HERE)

It appears that the Pearl River Water Supply District Board is willing to allow the event but two things must happen. The leaseholder (Mandalay Development LLC) must give permission for the sale to occur on their property and the PRVWSD Board must grant a variance to the lease allowing the sale to take place.

The question is how much longer will Mandalay Devleopment LLC be the leaseholder.

In yesterdays post we mentioned hearing from multiple unconfirmed sources that BankPlus may soon foreclose on Mandalay. This puts the folks wanting to sell the trees, in the uncomfortable position of not knowing if the leaseholder will change and if so, when.

Mr. Roy Nichols, with NickTrees, is the driving force behind the Christmas Tree event.  Obviously he needs to get commitments from all parties soon so that he can move forward with his plans, otherwise he will be forced to look for another location.  

Comments to our earlier article indicated that most people are in favor of the event taking place so we hope the details can be worked out quickly.

If so you would get to shop close to home, purchase a fresh Christmas Tree, and part of the proceeds go to a great cause.

What a deal!

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mandalay Update

The rumor on the street is that BankPlus will soon foreclose on the Mandalay development project. Mandalay purchased the Rapids On The Reservoir property in early 2008 and planned an upscale condo development on the site.

The principal in Mandalay is Mr. Steve Bryan of The Bryan Company. Mr. Bryan is likely a victim of the economic downturn which has all but dried up financing for condo developments.

The project caused quite a commotion last November when the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Board granted Mandalay permission to build apartments instead of condos. That action prompted a large group of local homeowners to assemble and voice their opposition to apartments. The meeting was covered by local TV stations and attended by many politicians who pledged support to the homeowners in their fight against apartments.

The PRVWSD Board reacted to the wishes of the homeowners and reversed its decision, Mr. Bryan would have to abide by the original lease and build condos.

We have been told by multiple sources that BankPlus is the lender who will be taking the foreclosure action, however, that information is unconfirmed at this time. We hope to verify this and provide additional details soon. 

If you would like to read a bit of history about Rapids and this project you can click HERE.

WLBT has an article about the homeowners and their impact on the PRVWSD board HERE.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Monday, September 13, 2010

R.I.P. Kangaroo

Here is the latest on the Kangaroo Convenience Store.
It is no more.

Pantry Corporation, owners of Kangaroo Convenience Stores, did not renew the lease on the property at the intersection of Grants Ferry Road and Spillway Road.  They are in the process of removing the gas tanks, pumps, and other changes made when they originally leased the building.   

The property is owned by Iris Properties of Meridian, MS., a spokesperson for the company told us that the building has not been leased to anyone at this time.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir 


Have you noticed the flags in Flowood?  Every light pole on Lakeland drive has two flags flying, permanent fixtures to be displayed 365 days a year.

They represent the efforts of one man who wanted to share his love of country with others.

You may have seen him standing at the corner of Highway 25 and Castlewoods Blvd. on patriotic holidays. The picture on the right was taken on a 4th of July.

His name is Don Hartness.

Don assumes his position at 5:00am and holds a flag until 6:00pm. He takes no breaks during that time. It is his way of paying tribute to our soldiers, past and present.

On that particular 4th, a lady stopped to talk with him, she was passing through Flowood and told Don that his flag was the first one she had noticed. She went on to tell him about her husband who she hadn't seen in over a year, he was in the military and deployed in Afghanistan. 

That conversation is what set Don on a mission to make sure that everyone traveling on Lakeland Drive would see a flag, in fact, lots of flags.

He made contact with Woodmen Of The World, after hearing his story they agreed to donate the flags. Flowood Mayor Gary Rhoads helped find donors to buy the mounting hardware and the rest, as they say, is history.  

On September 10, 2010 the Flowood City Council honored Don for his efforts.

Quite a tribute to the brave men and women who serve our country.

Thanks Don.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Medical Complex Update

Work on the Reservoir Medical Complex is entering the final phases. We spoke with the developer who tells us the doors should open for business right after the first of the year.

Two tenants have leased space in the 17,500 square foot building located behind the BankPlus building on Spillway Rd.

CarePlus, a family medical practice, will be moving across the street from their present location next to Kroger. CarePlus is a family medical clinic owned by River Oaks Health Systems.

Performance Rehabilitation is opening a physical and occupational therapy center with state of the art equipment including an indoor aquatic therapy pool.

At this time there is approximately 2500 square feet of space available for rent.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir News

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Be on the lookout for runners, bikers, and swimmers participating in the Tri4Life triathlon Saturday morning.  The races begin at Pelahatchie Shore Park and follows courses around the Bay.

The race starts at 7:00am, all proceeds go to the Center For Pregnancy Choices.

The Rez News
Ross Barnett Reservoir News

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kangaroo Destruction

The Kangaroo station at the corner of Spillway and Grants Ferry Road is undergoing some destruction.  The fuel tanks are being removed by PPM Consultants, a contractor for The Pantry Corporation which owns Kangaroo.  

We tried to contact the corporate headquarters but they are on the east coast and their offices were closed.

Someone at the Rankin County Community Development office told us they were unaware of the situation but said they would have inspectors on site Monday morning.

We will let you know what we hear from their corporate office Monday.

The Rez News 
Ross Barnett Reservoir News

HarborWalk Update

Interesting article in the Madison County Herald about what HarborWalk is costing the City of Ridgeland. 

Read it HERE.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Hat Lady

The Rankin County Board of Supervisors meetings are rarely the most exciting....scratch that. The Rankin BOS meetings often have lulls Hmmmm.

The Ranking County BOS meetings are boring.

But, there is often a moment when the mood lightens up, such a time is when Ellen Lewis makes her entrance. Ms. Lewis has been coming to the meetings for some time and is easily identifiable, look for the big hat, the really big hat.

Ms Lewis was a school crossing guard at Florence Middle School for 12 years. One rainy day she wore a large and colorful rain hat while directing traffic. The hat drew smiles and the attention of a group of kids who started bringing her different hats to wear. Her collection grew to 200 hats.

Her school crossing days are over but not her days of bringing smiles to peoples faces. She chooses a hat based on the season, this weeks selection was football.

Ms. Lewis has been know to bring gifts, last month she presented each supervisor with a jar of her homemade pear preserves. Rank does have its privileges!

Wonder what she will wear next month, something Halloween perhaps?

Whatever it is it will be more interesting than a 15 minute discussion about culverts.

(Hint, click on the picture to enlarge it, use your browser back button to return.)

CelticFest 2010

The 19th annual CelticFest will be held this weekend at The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum on Lakeland Dr.  The fun will begin Friday and run through Sunday.  Hours are;
  • Friday 7:00pm to midnight
  • Saturday 10:00am to midnight
  • Sunday 10:30am to 6:00pm
Good food, good fun, and good entertainment.
Get full details at the CelticFest web site, HERE

The Rez News

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Car Runs Into The Rez

Two teenage girls had to swim to safety Wednesday afternoon when their car went over the guardrail and into the waters of the main lake. The accident happened just west of the control tower.

Details and a video can be seen at the WAPT website HERE.

Rankin County 2011 Budget

The Rankin County Board of Supervisors approved a budget for fiscal year 2011 that is $555,564 less than FY2010. The good news for all is that there will be no tax increases this year.  Continued growth in Rankin County has allowed officials to weather the recession better than most Mississippi counties.

County Administrator, Clovis Reed, made a presentation to the board reviewing key parts of the budget. Here are some highlights:

  • No Tax Increase
  • Includes 1 additional Public Defender to expedite cases/reduce local jail time
  • Fully funds all County services
  • Includes funds for county wide elections
  • Continues the aggressive infrastructure program funded through 2008 bonds
  • Fully supports strong law enforcement and public safety programs
  • Provides full funding to maintain and improve roads and bridges
  • Supports efforts to attract new and sustain existing jobs and businesses
Mr. Reed's presentation was a very good high level overview of where the money comes from and where it goes. We obtained a copy and hope you will take a moment to look over it.

The PDF document can be seen by clicking HERE.

The Billboards, Again.

Tuesday evening the Flowood City Council approved a variance request that allows Lamar Advertising to install digital billboards at 9 locations in the city. However, the variance carried a condition, Lamar must remove 26 other signs in Flowood.

The deal, according to Mayor Gary Rhodes, was a way to reduce the total number of signs in the city.

The digital signs have the ability to carry multiple advertisements and Lamar intends to donate space on some signs to Flowood. Cities typically use the signs for public service type announcements, traffic warnings, even Amber Alerts.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

More Billboards

The response to placing electronic billboards along Spillway Road was a resounding "NO". You can read the comments  HERE and HERE.

Lamar Advertising is also seeking a variance from Flowood to replace an existing billboard on Grants Ferry Rd. with one of the electronic gadgets. The sign is pictured above. 

The billboard is next to Mill Creek Animal Hospital which is directly across from an entrance to Millcreek subdivision. Flowood ordinances require that anyone living within 160 feet of the proposed new sign must be notified via certified letter, several residents in Millcreek got a letter.

There will be a public hearing on the variance request at the Flowood City Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 7th at 6:30PM. The city hall is located at 2101 Airport Road. The variance requested is to replace the existing sign with an 11x23 digital face sign.

Section 7.3 of Flowood's sign ordinance is titled "Prohibited Signs", item 4 of that section says Billboards and Off-Site signs, except or Off-Site signs located on a Multi-Tenant Freestanding sign are prohibited.

Of course you can see billboards in Flowood but most of them were grandfathered in after the adoption of the current Flowood sign ordinance in May 2009.

You can read the Flowood sign ordinance HERE.

Don't want an electronic sign on Grants Ferry Road?  Then attend the hearing Tuesday night and speak your mind.

Monday, September 6, 2010

WellsFest 2010

Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 25th so you won't miss the 27th annual WellsFest event. This annual outing is a family oriented festival that raises money for local charities, this year's proceeds go to the Mississippi Family For Kids.

The location is Jamie Fowler Boyll Park on Lakeland Drive (next to Smith-Wills stadium), the fun starts at 10:00am and continues till 5:30pm. Many activities like:
  • Fun Fair for children
  • Outdoor Coffee House
  • Crafts Fair
  • Pet Parade
  • Lots of FOOD!
  • Lots of MUSIC!
There will be a 5K Run/Walk and a 1 mile Fun Run, information and a registration form can be found HERE.

Learn more about WellsFest including a history of the event by clicking HERE.

WellsFest was started by Wells Memorial United Methodist Church, you can find more information about WellsFest and The Mississippi Family For Kids by going HERE.

The Rez News

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pizza And A Cool Car

Stopped in Saturday evening for a pizza at Soulshine and noticed a great looking ride in the parking lot.  A 1947 Plymouth Sedan Deluxe looking like it just rolled off of the show room floor.  Some GI returning home from World War II probably drooled over this one.   It would have set you back around $1700 in those days. 

As you can see, no CD player, satellite radio, and no GPS.  Only a tastefully placed set of fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror.  It should be noted, however, that fuzzy dice were a 1950's phenomenon.

As usual the pizza at Soulshine was great.  Note the special on adult beverages every Thursday.

Pay them a visit.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mother's Morning Out

Hey mom, need a morning out?

The Rez YMCA has got a deal for you.

Three 6 week sessions are being offered by the Y to give mom's a break on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The first session begins on September 7th.

The Y is located at 6023 Lakeshore Park, you can call them at 601-992-9118 for more information or read about the program HERE.

What are you waiting for?

The Rez News

Friday, September 3, 2010

PRV Sewer Upgrade Project

The PRV Board held a special meeting this week to approve a grant from the U. S. Army Corps. of Engineers. Below is a general description of the project taken from correspondence between the two agencies.

The term "Project” shall mean design and construction of a project to include improvements to the Wastewater System associated with Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. The proposed work will include addition of lift stations throughout the system, improvements to an existing lift station, addition and replacement of wastewater force mains throughout the system, and upgrade of an existing pumping station.

Here is what that means.

The PRV operates a waste water treatment lagoon near the Goshen Springs Campground on the north end of the reservoir.  Sewage treated there is discharged into the reservoir between Highway 43 and the Cane Creek area. 

Surprised?  Read on.  

There is a sewage treatment lagoon in the Holly Bush Road area that services Reservoir East and other homes in the area.  That treated sewage is discharged into Pelahatchie Creek which flows into Pelahatchie Bay.  That lagoon is not owned by the PRV.

The 6.9 million dollar grant will fund the construction of sewer lines and pumping stations that will allow the Goshen Springs lagoon to be shut down.   Also, a pumping station will be constructed near the intersection of Highway 25 and Holly Bush Road to provide a sewer line connection point for that area.  The goal is to shut down the Reservoir East lagoon. 

All of the sewage around the reservoir area is pumped to the the Savannah Street Treatment Plant operated by the City of Jackson. 

The grant will fund 75% of the project with the PRV paying the rest.  Tougher EPA regulations and federal mandates are forcing these changes to be made. 

The project could take up to two years to complete. 

The Rez News

Thursday, September 2, 2010

O Christmas Tree

The PRV is asking for your comments on a proposal to sell Christmas Trees at the REZ.

Here's the deal.

Nichols Enterprises has asked the PRV Board for permission to sell Christmas trees on the parking lot of the old Rapids Water Park. Part of the proceeds would benefit the Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital at The University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Nichols started this event last year at the fair grounds. They will operate there again this year and want to add a second location at the reservoir.

First they must overcome a few obstacles.

The Rapids parking lot is leased to Mandalay Development LLC who has indicated a willingness to allow the sale on their property. Their lease, however, does not permit that type of activity so a variance would have to be obtained from the PRV to conduct the sale.

Finally, the PRV wants the input of area residents before making a decision.

The event has several corporate sponsors that help with the activities and donate money that goes directly to the hospital. Here is a partial list of corporate sponsors, more are expected to be added:
  • Brown Bottling Group (Pepsi)
  • KLLM Trucking
  • Bob Boyte Honda
  • Mississippi Sports Medicine
  • Clear Channel Radio
Nichols has promised the hospital an initial donation of $10,000 which would be followed by a percentage of the tree sales.

The event would begin the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas trees will come from a farm located near the Rez at Sand Hill and a farm in North Carolina.

So, what do you think, does this sound like a good use of PRV property?

Please share your thoughts as comments to this article or send the Executive Director at the PRV an email at:

The Rez News

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More On The Dam Leak

The next time you drive across the lower road of the dam be on the lookout for boxes like the one pictured above.  There are 24 such structures along the dam and 3 more are will be added this week.

The boxes are Piezometers, or observation wells, and used by the PRV to detect abnormal conditions with the dam, like major leaks, that need attention.

Each Piezometer is measured monthly to determine the distance between the top of the well and the depth at which water is detected.   The numbers are recorded and used to spot trends.  A well that has shown a reading of 8 feet for the last 9 months and then had a reading of 6 feet might indicate a problem that requires a closer inspection. 

John Sigman, the PRV Executive Director, says that all dams are designed to leak and the reservoir dam is no exception. Evidence of this can be seen in the canals below the dam.  Water in these canals is an accumulation of the normal seepage under the dam.

However, there is an area just east of the spillway that is leaking more than it should.  John tells us that the PRV has been watching the area for some time and the dam is not in any immediate danger. 

Crews have been busy this week installing 3 new piezometers near the area of the leak.  Soil samples have been taken and will be analyzed to determine what corrective actions are needed to repair the dam.

The analysis should be completed by the end of the year.

Traffic lanes will be closed while this work is going on so please observe all traffic devices.