Monday, April 30, 2012

Work Starts On Rez - 1960

A bit of history to start the week.

The following transcript is from an article that appeared in The Brandon News on Thursday, February 11, 1960. 

Image copies of the article are available here:
The map below appeared with the article and provided directions to a "Reservoir Open House" that occurred a week earlier. 

Click for high resolution photo
Actual Construction Begun On 
Pearl River Reservoir Dam And 
Spillway After Ceremony Held
February 11, 1960- The Brandon News

Formalities are over and actual construction is underway on the gigantic $25,000,000 Pearl River Reservoir which is to border Rankin, Scott, Leake and Madison counties and will additionally benefit Hinds county and the City of Jackson.

Gov. Ross R. Barnett was speaker at the ground-breaking ceremony held Wednesday afternoon of last week at what is to eventually become the east end of the earthen dam that is to form the reservoir. He paid tribute to the many who had conceived the project  and pushed it along the way toward reality, including former Governors J. P. Coleman and Hugh White by name. He lauded the project as a tourist attraction and expressed the belief that, through such similar foresightedness, Mississippi's tourist industry could be increased in a few year from its present $300,000,000 level to three billion dollars.

H. V. Watkins, attorney for the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, served as master of ceremonies on the platform atop a huge truck "float" used for hauling in heavy machinery. One of the preliminary talks was made by W. P. Bridges, Sr., chairman of the board of directors of the water supply district, who praised the efforts of those who had been associated with him in the project. Mr. Bridges declared the day to be the "second happiest" day he expected in his life . . .to be exceeded only by the day that the project is opened to the public.

Spur Track

The ceremony was held in a "Y" of what is to be spur track off the G. M. & O railroad. The roadbed is built and crossties were laid so that extra-heavy equipment and materials of the Harbert Construction Co. can be brought to the site by rail. Huge earth-moving machines were lined up, ready to begin their task of moving the millions of yards of dirt. From the railroad tracks, 50 yards west, a mile and a half to the Pearl River itself, men and machines went on with their work of clearing and grubbing in preparation for the dirt-moving. Smoke from the burning of trees and stumps in the area kept the crowd of about 200 from being able to see the river itself. 

Below is a picture of the "Y" track location mentioned in the article.  The railroad is visible as a line running left to right across the middle of the photo.   Three trees near the center of the photo are within the "Y".  The photo is looking westward toward Ridgeland.  The dam had been cleared up to the Pearl River.

The original railroad ran near the old Rapids parking lot - it was later relocated east near the intersection of Spillway Road and Old Fannin Road.  Some long-time residents may remember the railroad crossing near the location of the new BankPlus.   

click for high resolution photo

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mississippi Past

Mississippi history.

Photos from digital collections at the Library of Congress.

Click photo for higher resolution

Movie entrance, Belzoni, MS 1939
photo: Marion Post Wolcott
Used car lot Clarksdale Ms. 1939
photo: Marion Post Wolcott
Street Scene Natchez Ms 1935
photo: Ben Shahn
Shoppers in Natchez 1935
photo: Ben Shahn
Clothing Store, Merigold, Ms 1939
photo: Russel Lee

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Stennis Study Part 5

Continuation of excerpts from the Stennis Report  - details here:

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District:
An Overview For Decision Makers
The John C. Stennis Institute of Government
Mississippi State University

Pages 15 through 17
Link to full report HERE
Previous section HERE

Top of Page 15

In 1973, 174 lots were offered in Glen Cove and Harbor View; there were 630 contracts offered. In July, 1975 there were 1,500 contracts offered for 149 lots in Audubon Point. When 194 lots were offered in Pelahatchie Woods in June 1977 there were 2,100 contracts offered; in September 1978, 2,575 contract offers were received for the 109 lots offered in Sunrise Point and Paradise Point. When duplicate contracts were offered on a single lot, a drawing was held to determine the selected lessee. Over this period the market value of residential lots was increasing. For example, in September 1978, Sunrise Point waterfront lots were receiving annual rentals of $540 with development fees of between $24,500 and $42,000, and water view lots were receiving annual rentals of $360 with development fees of $13,000 to $18,000.

In November 1978, the District changed its policies and procedures for the leasing and development of residential lots; the Board of Directors determined to allow private developers to lease tracts of land at “wholesale” prices, install utilities, streets, and other amenities, and then to subdivide and sell individual lots. In September of 1979, Roses Bluff Subdivision was the first area leased using this new approach. Subsequent developments under this new program were North Bay, Brenhaven, Hanover, Bay Bay Pointe, Fox Bay, Windward Oaks, Northshore Village, and Palisades. As of June 1992, 1,450 residential lots had been developed in the District and all but 50 lots had been leased; of these, 900 lots had been developed by private developers using the “wholesale” developer approach adopted by the District in 1978.

Difficulties between the District and the Hinds County Board of Supervisors began to surface following the Easter Flood of 1979, when the Pearl River rose to a record high of 43.25 feet. A group of victims called the “Wetbacks” contended that the reservoir was partially responsible for their homes being flooded and brought suit to block tax payments from Hinds County to the District; this suit was eventually dropped but drew public attention to the property tax revenues from Hinds County that were supporting the District. The successful development of the area around the reservoir located in Rankin and Madison counties, including a golf course and library being developed in the District, caused dissatisfaction among the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, who

Page 16

sought an injunction to prevent the District from requesting its annual tax levy and to request that any funds that were “unlawfully” spent by the District be refunded to Hinds County. Hinds County requested the four other counties in the District to join in the law suit; only Leake County participated.

On August 20, 1982, in the case of Hinds County v. Pearl River Valley Water Supply District the District’s accounting methods in the use of property tax revenues for the payment of principal and interest on outstanding bonds were the basis for a chancery court lawsuit. The Hinds County Board of Supervisors and Leake County Board of Supervisors brought suit in the Chancery Court of Hinds County to stop the District from using any state ad valorem tax revenues for any purpose other than to pay, prepay, redeem or retire bonds; the complaining parties sought an accounting from the District on its use of funds, and a return of all funds that had been used for purposes other than bond payments. The complaining parties objected to the District’s use of public funds to finance services to the private residents leasing District property instead of applying these property tax revenues to accelerating the payment of bonded indebtedness. The District contended that its enabling legislation allowed it to use the ad valorem tax revenues to cover the costs and expenses of operating and maintaining the reservoir.

The Hinds County Chancery Court ordered the District to cease using the tax levied in the five-county area of the District for residential services and held that the levy could only be used to retire the bond indebtedness. On appeal (445 So. 2d 1330, 1984) to the Mississippi Supreme Court, the Court partially reversed and remanded, in part, the Chancery Court’s decision. The majority of the judges ruled that the District Law anticipated that the payment of costs and expenses for the operation and maintenance of the project would be paid first, and then the balance applied to the retirement of the bonds using the revenues from the two mill countywide property tax levies authorized under section 51-9-131; and that in the event insufficient funds remained to pay the cost of interest and the retirement of bonds, after all gross revenues (all monies from any and all sources), the District then had authority under section 51-9-139 to assess a (additional) special levy of two mills. The Court also affirmed the Chancery Court’s  refusal to order a complete accounting of District funds. The Mississippi Supreme Court

Page 17

remanded the case to the Hinds County Chancery Court to reconsider the issue of whether or not District funds were being expended in accordance with state law and in compliance with the District’s trust indenture.

The District and the Hinds County Board of Supervisors negotiated a final settlement that was affirmed by the Chancery Court on February 26, 1985 and amended on October 28, 1987. The terms of the settlement were as follows:

1. The District was to maintain a budget and accounting system that identified all direct and indirect costs for providing services on residential and commercial leased property to include: utilities, police and security services, fire protection, road and street maintenance, garbage collection and disposal, general maintenance for the primary benefit of lessees, water and sewer services, and meeting facilities;

2. the District shall terminate the services to lessees, unless the District has initiated and implemented action to recover the full costs of such services from charges or assessments paid by the lessees, other than ordinary annual lease payments, or from contributions (in cash or in kind) from other political subdivisions excluding the ad valorem tax levies authorized under Mississippi Code 51-9-131 and 51-9-139; and

3. no special tax levy (51-9-139) could be levied unless and until the District had applied all revenues from all sources (including revenues which the District deposited in its Property Improvement Fund) toward the payment of bond principal and interest; and

4. that Hinds and Leake county’s ad valorem tax payments and the City of Jackson’s annual contract payment of $500,000 would terminate after the year ending September 30, 1991.

In December 1984, the PEER Committee was requested to conduct a feasibility study for performing an accounting of all District funds over the period 1961 through 1982. In February 1985, the PEER staff found that an accounting of this nature “could not be done because of incomplete and missing accounting records and the District’s past practices of not identifying expenses incurred to provide municipal and related services to lessees."

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Upcoming Events At The Rez

A list of events scheduled at Rez Parks. 
Information provided by the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District.

Barnett Reservoir
2012 Special Park Events

Date     Location                  Event
4/28   Old Trace Park   Nature Conservancy Wild Walk/Run
5/11   Old Trace Park   Pepsi Pops
5/12   Old Trace Park   Natchez Trace Century Ride
5/19   Old Trace Park   Dragon Boat Regatta
6/2    Old Trace Park   Heatwave Classic Triathlon
6/16   Old Trace Park   Prince of Peace Church Event
6/22   Old Trace Park   Jackson Amateur Radio Club 
6/23   Old Trace Park   Jackson Amateur Radio Club
6/24   Old Trace Park   Jackson Amateur Radio Club 
6/30   Old Trace Park   Rez Foundation Fireworks
6/30   Lake Shore Pk    Rez Foundation Fireworks
8/25   Pela. Shore Pk   Dog Days of Summer 
8/26   Lake Shore Park  Pinelake Baptisms
9/30   Old Trace Park   Crossgates Church Event
The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Heatwave Classic Coming Up

On Saturday, June 2nd, BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi and Ridgeland Recreation & Parks will host the 27th annual Heatwave Classic Triathlon. Some of the finest athletes from the Southeastern United States will converge on Ridgeland, Mississippi to compete in the triathlon, an event sanctioned by the U.S.A. Triathlon. Participants return each year because they love the race course.

This year's race will consist of a ½ mile swim in the Ross Barnett Reservoir, a 24 ½ mile bike ride along the scenic and historic Natchez Trace Parkway, and ending with a 10K run along Ridgeland's heavily shaded Multi-Purpose Trail. Participants may register online at

The Heatwave Classic Triathlon is one of many events sponsored by City of Ridgeland Recreation & Parks Department. For more information on this event please call 601-853-2011.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mustard Seed Wins

Mustard Seed Wins
$10K In Recent Charity Event

Del Harrington accepting the $10,000 Charity Check
on behalf of Mustard Seed from Adam Horlock
from Associated Food Equipment Supplies
and Andy Chapman from Eat Jackson.

Jackson Restaurant Week, presented by Associated Food Equipment & Supplies and hosted by Eat Jackson, was held April 15-21, 2012 in and around Jackson, Miss. Thirty four metro area restaurants participated in Jackson Restaurant Week by offering special menus throughout the week.

Patrons of the participating restaurants during Jackson Restaurant Week had the opportunity to vote for their favorite of five charity finalists in the running for a $10,000 Charity Check. The charity finalists were chosen from nominations by a panel of industry advisors. The five charity finalists during Spring 2012 Jackson Restaurant Week were Community Animal Rescue and Adoption (CARA), Friends of Children’s Hospital, Jackson Free Clinic, Magnolia Speech School, and The Mustard Seed.

And the Winner Is…Read article

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

RCSD Scholarship Winners

The Foundation For Rankin
 County Public Schools
Announces Scholarship Winners

The Foundation for Rankin County Public Schools recently announced its fourth annual scholarship winners. Since the inception of the Foundation it has granted $36,000 to students all across the District. The scholarship program awards a $1,000 scholarship to a senior from each of the high schools. This year nine scholarships were awarded.

The students selected had to have a 3.0 GPA or higher, must have been involved in one or more high school sponsored activities and/or work a part-time or full-time job while attending high school. Each student also had to submit a transcript with their ACT or SAT score, include a resume and have a typed 500 word essay describing their dreams for the future, and what they need to accomplish to consider their life successful.

“These students have excelled through out high school. We are so proud of each of them, and we wish them the best with their future plans,” said RCSD Superintendent Dr. Lynn Weathersby.

Pictured back row from left are District Attorney and Foundation for Rankin County Public Schools President Michael Guest, Ethan Martin, Pisgah High School; John Austin Puckett, Brandon High School; Charles McCrory, Florence High School and RCSD Superintendent Dr. Lynn Weathersby. Front row from left Adrienne Bridges, Florence High School; Ashley Johnson, Pelahatchie High School; Alexis Ware, Richland High School; Acacia Cooper, Northwest Rankin High School and Emily Mitchell, McLaurin High School. Not pictured is Warren Smith, Puckett Attendance Center

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Republican Caucuses Saturday

Mississippi Republicans will hold caucuses this Saturday to elect local delegates.  

Brian Perry explains the process in a recent article published in the Madison County Journal.  

The process for electing national Republican leaders begins this
Saturday at your local precinct.

The process begins at the precinct level on Saturday, April 28. At 10:00 a.m., any registered voter declaring to be a Republican can meet at their regular voting precinct. The precinct caucuses choose county delegates to the county convention. In some counties, like Madison, each precinct chooses one delegate. Other counties, like Rankin, apportion delegates according to the total number of votes for John McCain in 2008 - with each precinct getting one delegate and larger Republican precincts getting more.

A precinct caucus could last 3 minutes or an hour. Individuals or factions wishing to control the county party - and the county's delegates to the state convention - must turn out supporters at the precincts. If one person shows up at a precinct, that person can elect himself a delegate. If 50 people show up, then 26 choose the one or more delegates from that precinct. Usually, caucuses are routine. But when there is an intraparty struggle for control, they provide the most basic grassroots interpersonal political entertainment and mischief you'll likely never read about.
Read entire article at Madison County Journal

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

NWR Sixth Graders Make Donation

Updated @ 3:12pm

A group of 6th graders from Northwest Rankin Middle School made a $6000 donation to The Little Lighthouse in Brandon today.

Learn more about the Little Lighthouse at their website:

Video of the presentation from WLBT

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Traffic Problems On Upper Road

Update:  At around 8:40am a wreck with injuries occurred at the control tower causing a second traffic delay.  

Traffic on the upper road was stopped for about 30 minutes this morning after a mower fell from a trailer and caught fire.  Ridgeland FD was dispatched to extinguish the fire.   Emergency radio traffic indicated the equipment belonged to the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District.

The road was cleared around 8:15am.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

NWR Middle School Principal Wins Award

Northwest Rankin Middle School Principal
Named Administrator of the Year for RCSD 

Jacob McEwen

Northwest Rankin Middle School Principal Jacob McEwen has been named the Rankin County School District’s (RCSD) Administrator of the Year. He received his bachelor and masters degree from Jackson State University. In 1997, he was named an assistant principal at Northwest Rankin Middle School, and in 2003, he was named principal.

During his tenure with RCSD he has earned many awards including the Rankin County Chamber of Commerce Administrator of the Month Award, RCSD Administrator of the Month and National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Mississippi Principal of the Year Award. He is an active member in the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Mr. McEwen has implemented programs to help students with instruction such as the Scottish Rites Dyslexia Training Program, Informational Technology (ICT) 1 and 2 Computer Labs and the “Loop” Program for At-Risk Students. Mr. McEwen’s motto is “Northwest Rankin Middle School, in partnership with parents and community”, and he is committed to providing all students with a challenging, quality education. “I chose this career because I want to serve others.

 By giving back to our local, church, and school community, we are paving the way for our future,” said Jacob McEwen. “As a Rankin County School District principal, Mr. McEwen has proven to be a disciplined administrator who takes the initiative and is always looking for ways to improve his school,” said RCSD Superintendent Dr. Lynn Weathersby. “As a principal of Northwest Rankin Middle he has developed partnerships between the parents and the community to encourage students to succeed. He recognizes the uniqueness of the individual student and challenges them to become lifelong learners.”

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Relay For Life Event

Northwest Rankin Relay For Life

Northwest Rankin High School

Football Stadium

Friday, April 27, 2012

Survivor registration and reception 5:30p.m.
Event begins 6:00p.m.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

St. Mark's Auction And Sale

Saint Mark’s Hosts Live
 Auction & Annual
Community Garage Sale

Youth of Saint Mark’s United Methodist Church are busy preparing and collecting donations for their Annual Garage Sale scheduled for Saturday, May 5, 2012, at 400 Grants Ferry Road at the Reservoir.

Something new this year will be a Live Auction that will be hosted the night before on Friday, May 4, 2012 at 7 p.m. in the CLC of Saint Mark’s United Methodist. “The addition of the Live Auction Friday night, allows us to feature our higher end merchandise: furniture, collectibles and new items and services,” stated Youth Director Jeanne Chapman. “It not only allows us an opportunity to highlight our featured items, but it allows anyone who attends the Live Auction to shop early at the Garage Sale immediately following the auction.”

 The Live Auction is open to everyone. Cost of admission for the Live Auction will be $5.00, which includes refreshments and early bird shopping at the garage sale at the conclusion of the auction. Only those attending the auction can shop Friday night.

 The annual Garage Sale, also held in the CLC, will be open Saturday, May 5, from 5:30 a.m. until noon FREE of charge to everyone in the community. Breakfast will be available for purchase. Cash and checks accepted.

 “We encourage and invite participation from everyone in the community to join us in donating to our Live Auction and Garage Sale, or simply by coming out and shopping one or both of these great events,” stated Saint Mark’s Pastor Rob Gill. “All proceeds from these events will help in funding our Youth Ministry which is leading the way for the youth of our community.”

For more information regarding the Live Auction or Garage Sale, please contact Saint Mark’s United Methodist Church at 601.992.9554 or visit them online at

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Promote The Vote Winners

Brandon Middle School took home multiple wins in the recent Promote The Vote contest sponsored by Mississippi Secretary of State, Delbert Hoseman.

The winners (listed here) along with Sec. of State Delbert Hoseman,  
Rep. John Moore, Rep. Mark Baker and Dr. Lynn Weathersby.

About Promote The Vote:

Promote the Vote is a comprehensive voter education project sponsored by the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office. This project is designed to teach the fundamentals of our democracy to K-12 students and encourages civic responsibility. The program helps students improve their political decision-making abilities and increase their interests in current issues. PTV includes a statewide mock election, student competitions, a complete voter education curriculum and special events designed to recognize students and their teachers.  souce  - Miss. Secretary of State's PTV website

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reservoir Patrol Report March 2012

Each month the board of directors for the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District receive an activity report from the Reservoir Patrol. 

The following report is a summary of citations written.
The complete report can be seen here.

MARCH 2012

Frequency         Violation

    1      Accident, Leaving the Scene
    2      Alcohol, Consumption in Parks
    1      Alcohol. Possession Against Co. Ordinance
    3      Allowed Unlicensed Driver
   12      Careless Driving
   10      Child Restraint
   23      Disregard for a Traffic Device
   26      Drivers License, None Or Expired
    3      Driver's License Restriction Violation
   23      Driving while License Suspended
    2      Driving while License Suspended, I.C.
   16      Driving Under The Influence, 1rst
    1      Driving Under The Influence, 2nd
    7      Driving Under The Influence, Refusal
    1      Excessive Noise
   12      Expired Tag
    1      Failure To Comply with Police Officer Directive
    2      Failure to Dim Headlights
    8      Improper Equipment
    4      Improper Parking. Marked "NO PARKING"
    1      Improper Passing
    4      Improper/No Tag
   82      Insurance Card To Be Kept In Vehicle
    1      Littering
    5      Motor Cycle Endorsement
    3      Over Size Vehicle
    1      Possession Marijuana
    2      Possession Paraphernalia
    1      Public Drunk
    1      Reckless Driving
   32      Seat belt Law Violation
   19      Speeding
    7      Trespassing, Sign, Notice, Verbal

  317      Total Citations Submitted for Court
   13      Miscellaneous Warning Citations
    7      Voided Citations

  337      Total Citations Written

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

RCSD Star Students And Teachers

Rankin County School District 
Star Students and Star Teachers

Brandon, MS – Rankin County School District honored nearly 475 high school seniors who scored 22 or higher on the American College Test (ACT). Students from Brandon, Florence, McLaurin, Northwest Rankin, Pelahatchie, Pisgah, Puckett and Richland were in attendance at the awards ceremony held in the Brandon High School multipurpose room. Michael Guest, District Attorney for Madison and Rankin Counties was guest speaker.

Students scoring 28 and higher on the ACT were given the high honor designation and students with a score of 22-27 were named to the honor category. Star Students and Star Teachers were also recognized during the ceremony. The graduating senior student from each school with the highest ACT score, in addition to a high grade point average, is named its Star student. Once selected, the student chooses a teacher who has made the greatest impact on his or her academic career.

Star Students and Star Teachers for 2011-2012 are Brandon HS: Andrew Wilson and Kristie Hughes; Florence HS: Alex Gunter and Lisa Byrd; McLaurin HS: Jacob Pruett and Steve Pruett; Northwest Rankin HS: Nicholas Pettit and Jennifer Wilson; Pelahatchie HS: Ashley Johnson and Donna McMillan; Pisgah HS: Taylor Porter and Amy Hunt; Puckett HS: Lauren Anderson and Elizabeth Cook; Richland HS: Jessica Saulters and Amy Rummage.

Pictured back row from left are RCSD School Board President Ann Sturdivant, Donna McMillan, Elizabeth Cook, Steve Pruett, Amy Hunt, Amy Rummage, Lisa Byrd and RCSD Superintendent Dr. Lynn Weathersby. Front row from left are Nicholas Pettit, Ashley Johnson, Lauren Anderson, Jacob Pruett, Andrew Wilson, Taylor Porter and Jessica Saulters. Not pictured are Jennifer Wilson, Kristie Hughes and Alex Gunter.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rez Tomatoes

OK backyard gardeners, one Rez resident has some pretty good looking tomatoes.

Anybody beat these?

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Rankin Republican Women Meeting

Meeting Monday
April 23

The Rankin County Republican Women will meet Monday, April 23rd at the home of Betty Newman, 801 Country Place Drive, Pearl, MS 39208.

The meeting will begin at with a social time at 6pm - the meeting will begin at 6:30pm.

More information can be found at:

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Rankin School Board Meeting

A Special Called meeting of the Board of Education of
Rankin County School District will be held April 25, 
2012, beginning at 8:00 AM at McLaurin Elementary
library, 2693 Star Road, Florence.

The subjects to be discussed or considered or upon which
any formal action may be taken are as listed below.
Items do not have to be taken in the order shown on this
meeting notice.

Unless removed from the consent agenda and placed under
discussion / action, items identified within consent
agenda will be acted on at one time with no discussion.



   - 16-3-5 - JOHNSON
   - P#I8M-12-10 / 16-5-3
   P#I8M-32 / 16-5-3
   - MDOT - 16-5-3



The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Sunday, April 22, 2012


A treat for photography fans.

Photographer Tom Lowe creates spectacular productions using time lapse photography. Breathtaking images combined with powerful music - a feast for the eyes and ears.

If your browser supports popups select the view in popup option, otherwise select the direct link.  Turn your speakers on.

View TimeScapes in popup

Direct link here.

You can learn more about Tom and his work
or his Facebook site

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Rez Is Full

The Rez has reached it's summer pool level of 297.5 feet above sea level. 

click to enlarge

Keep up with the water level by using the links provided on the right side of the page under the heading "Lake Level Data".

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Fannin Boat Ramp Update

A reader asked for an update on the status of a new boat ramp planned for Fannin Landing.

We did a post about the ramp last summer, if you missed it you can see it here.

We passed the question along to PRVWSD Chief Engineer, Greg Burgess - his reply follows.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are excited about this proposed improvement project. We have not yet begun this project, but we hope to begin in the near future once funding has been obtained.

The work being referred to at this site from last year was our installation of sheet piling. Although we were not in position to construct the actual project at that time, we did install the sheet piling, which will be needed for ramp construction, due to having the equipment on hand at that time that was needed for installation and since we were removing the sheet piling from a similar work site last summer.

As I referred to earlier, the schedule on this project is funding-related. We have applied to the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks for a grant in order to be able to fund this project. Both MDWFP and our agency are anxious to begin this project; however, the grant must be finalized on the national level before we can begin. We are awaiting the final decision on the grant. Without that funding, this major improvement project we are planning is not possible.

The current vision includes the creation of a pair of new ramps to be constructed where the sheet piling has been installed, the addition of a breakwater, the demolition of the existing ramps once the new ramps are in place and usable, the addition of a new bathroom facility and removal of the old one, and an overlay and an extension of the parking lot. Once the funding is secured, we intend to move rapidly toward creation of the breakwater and new ramps. This is still months away from construction however.

Please note that there are additional ramps throughout the Ross Barnett Reservoir that boaters may wish to use in the interim. Attached is a link to a map from our website detailing some of those ramp facilities:    (9 meg pdf file)

Please be assured that we are very anxious to begin this project and hope to have those upgraded facilities available as soon as possible.


Greg Burgess
Pearl River Valley Water Supply District

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Friday, April 20, 2012

Gator Tales

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District has started a newsletter for citizens of the Rez community.  Copies of the first edition have been mailed to all current water customers of the District.    Not a water customer?  View it here, we'll have a copy posted as soon as it's released.

The quarterly publication will be called "Gator Tales" - check out the current edition here.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Natchez Trace Century Ride

Ridgeland Natchez Trace 
Century Ride 
May 12, 2012

Go the distance this spring at the Natchez Trace Century Ride in Ridgeland, and enjoy a scenic bike ride on the beautiful, historic Natchez Trace Parkway.

The ride will take place on Saturday, May 12 at 7:30 a.m., and will start at the Ridgeland Recreational Center. With your choice of distances from 25, 50, 62 and 100 miles, it is perfect for all ages and ability levels.

Sign up the whole family. A registration fee of $45 includes ride, t-shirt and post-ride meal.

To register for the ride, go to

For more information on the ride, contact Ridgeland Recreation and Parks at 601-853-2011 or go to

The Natchez Trace Century Ride is presented by Indian Cycle and The Bike Rack.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Flowood Mayor's Prayer Breakfast

2012 City of Flowood 
Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast

May 11, 2012 @ 7:45 a.m.

Liberty Baptist Church / Fellowship Hall

Guest Speaker:
Congressman Gregg Harper

Entertainment: South of Twenty

Tickets are $5.00 per person
Tables are $200.00 (6 guest)

For ticket & table information please contact

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Brandon Police Chase

Around 11am Wednesday morning Brandon Police were involved in the pursuit of a vehicle that was reported stolen in Jackson.

The chase entered into the Crossgates subdivision and quickly turned into a manhunt when the driver turned into a cul-de-sac with no way out.

Three individuals were in the vehicle, one juvenile was captured but the other two, described as juvenile black males, fled on foot and had not been captured as of late Wednesday afternoon.

Officers from Brandon PD, Pearl PD and the Rankin County Sheriff's office assisted in the search. The audio below was recorded from Brandon Police channels and the Rankin County Common Law channel - it covers the chase and approximately 20 minutes after the subjects fled the vehicle on foot.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lane Closure On Lower Spillway Road

News From The

On Thursday, April 19, 2012, a section of the right lane of the lower road of the Bob Anthony Parkway, also known as Spillway Road, will be closed due to roadwork activities.

A section from the Pearl River bridge to Reservoir Park Drive will be closed. The lane closure is scheduled to begin at approximately 7:00 a.m. The lane will be reopened upon completion of the work. While it is anticipated that the lane will be reopened before 4:00 p.m., drivers should be aware that this lane will not reopened until the work is completed.

Drivers should plan ahead and expect delays. Please be careful, slow down and respect the workers in this area.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

PRVWSD Board Meeting This Week

The PRVWSD Board meets Thursday morning, their meeting agenda follows:


1. Opening prayer

2. Pledge of Allegiance - W. C. Gorden

3. Introduction of new board members: Billy Cook and 
   Shannon Armstrong

4. Request for acceptance of Minutes from a regular 
   meeting held on March 15, 2012

5. Report from Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and
   Parks - Ramie Ford

6. Report from Attorney

7. Commendation of Service for Mr. Pete Burkes and
   Mr. Vernard Murrell

8. Presentation by Dr. Madison of MSU with regard to
   Aquatic Vegetation Control

9. Committee Recommendations:
   Parks Policy Committee:
   I.   Approval of contracts for Mountain Bike Trail
        construction and maintenance at Browns Landing
   II.  Discussion of contract for janitorial services at
        comfort stations
   III. Approval of contract for trash collection service 
        "up river"
   IV.  Update for Special Events calendar
   Forestry Committee:
   I.   Approval of contract for sale of timber
   Shoreline Development & Environmental Quality Committee:
   I.   Approval to award contract for Hydrologic and 
        Hydrological Analysis of Lake Level Operating Plan
   II.  Discussion of approval for revised take down of real
        estate for Bid No. 153
   III. Approval of contract with Neel Schaffer for
        engineering services provided for road repair for
        Tenn Bid # I
   IV.  Discussion of approval of InLine aerial easement for
        Spillway/Hwy 471
   V.   Approval to accept one (I) year extension of 
        construction deadline to Northshore Crossing
   VI.  Emergency Sewer Line Repair

10. Approval of per diem and travel for the month
    of March 2012
11. Consideration and approval of Cash Balance Report
12. Consideration and approval of Claims Docket
13. Committee Minutes and Miscellaneous Correspondence 
14. Patrol Report
15. Executive Director's comments
16. Next Regular Meeting - May 17,2012 at 9:30 a.m.


The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Project Rezway

Fashion Show

Keep the Rez Beautiful will tout the importance of recycling during its upcoming fundraiser Project Rezway.

The April 26 recycle fashion show and gala features a runway show in which local designers – both professional and amateur – construct apparel out of 75 percent or more recyclable items.

Project Rezway runs from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Mississippi Craft Center in Ridgeland. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. The event will feature a silent auction.

“You would not believe the commonly discarded items that can be incorporated into fashionable clothes,” said Jeannine May, executive director of Keep the Rez Beautiful. “We are still looking for designers to make clothes for Project Rezway as well as people to come see these ‘upcycled’ creations.”

First Lady Deborah Bryant will present awards to the winners of the fashion show. Masters of ceremonies are radio hosts Rick and Kim from MISS 103.

Judges include Ridgeland Alderman Brian Ramsey, former Miss Mississippi Pageant contestant Alana Robertson, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s John David Burns, Pearl River Valley Water Supply District’s Keshia Mayberry, Ritzy Rags’ Dana Smith and the Fashion Post’s Beth Griffith.

Tickets can be purchased at, by emailing or at the office of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. If you are interested in designing a recyclable outfit, email Justin Fritscher at

About Project Rezway for Youth:
Keep the Rez Beautiful is also hosting a recycle fashion show for children – called Project Rezway for Youth. This show will be held April 21, 11:30 a.m., at Old Trace Park. This fashion show is being held in conjunction with WaterFest 2012. Youth are asked to construct clothes of at least 75 percent recyclables. Registration forms can be downloaded from

About the Rezzy Awards:
At the fashion show, First Lady Deborah Bryant will also present awards to the winners of the Rezzy awards. Rezzy awards are given to the organization’s most dedicated volunteers. For more information on the Rezzy awards, visit

About Keep the Rez Beautiful:
All proceeds from Project Rezway and Project Rezway for Youth benefit Keep the Rez Beautiful, a nonprofit organization in the Ross Barnett Reservoir area. KRB is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Mississippi Beautiful and is staffed solely by unpaid volunteers. KRB is dedicated to litter prevention, litter cleanup, waste reduction, recycling and beautification.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Easter Flood

It's been 33 years since the "Easter Flood".  The Pearl River overflowed it's banks and caused widespread flooding in central Mississippi - 17,000 people were forced from their homes and damage estimates ran as high as $500 million.

The heavy rains began on April 11, 1979 and continued for the next 36 hours, some areas received 20 inches of rain.  On April 17th the Pearl River crested at a record 43.28 feet.   

Time for a look back with a few words, photos and a great video.

Video provided by WLBT

The following account of the flood was written by a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson.

On Wednesday afternoon, April 11, heavy thunderstorms moved into the western part of the state. During the next 36 hours, thunderstorms repeatedly developed over much of central Mississippi from Jackson to Columbus.

When it was all over Friday morning, April 13, rain accumulations had totaled 8 inches over the upper Pearl Basin, with amounts between 15 and 20 inches over most of Choctaw, Winston, and Oktibbeha counties in the east central part of the state. These rains caused record flood levels on the Noxubee River (which flows into the Tombigbee River), the Big Black River, and the Pearl River. This report will concern only the Pearl River flooding.  Read full report here.

A National Weather Service page provides a chronology of events for the 1979 flood.   It can be seen here

A few photos:
click a photo to enlarge


Harbor Pines Mobile Home Park at The Rez

Inflow at Spillway

Discharge at Spillway

Gallery of photos from the Clarion Ledger here.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Rankin Supervisors Night Meeting

The Rankin County Board of Supervisors held a night meeting Monday evening and played to a full house.

A copy of the meeting agenda is available here.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Monday, April 16, 2012

Meet The Browns

Very nice article in today's Clarion Ledger about Rankin County District 2 Supervisor, Wood Brown.

Check it out here.

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Old Fannin Road Update

After many delays the project to widen Old Fannin Road is about to take a major step forward.  Last Thursday the Rankin County Board of Supervisors voted to advertise for construction bids. 

We spoke to an engineer familiar with the project - he provided us with the following info:

  • After the bid notice is advertised the county will allow time for bids to be received, reviewed and approved by MDOT.  The project team is hopeful these steps will be completed by late summer, at that time construction will begin.  
  • Plans called for the existing road to be widened to 5 lanes and include:
    • 2 traffic lanes and a bike trail northbound
    • 2 traffic lanes and a bike trail southbound
    • A center turn lane
  • Road will be wider than a conventional 5 lane road because of the two 5 foot bike trails.
  • Cost of project to be $11.2 million - $7.8 million in MDOT funds and $3.4 million in Rankin County funds. 
  • Project is 2.7 miles long and will run from Spillway Road to the Flowood city limits near the Flowood library. 
  • Project completion time estimated to be 20 months. 
  • New road will have 5 traffic lights that will be synchronized by radio interconnect to ensure smooth traffic flow.  Traffic light locations:
    • Eagle Drive
    • Bridalwood Dr
    • Farmington Blvd/Vernon Jones
    • Oak Grove Dr.
    • Avalon/River Chase
According to MDOT's website the daily traffic on Old Fannin Road is 25,000 cars a day.  Those numbers were from 2008, the last year a count was done.

We'll keep you posted as more information comes available. 

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

Waterfest 2012

Saturday April 21

An annual event that spotlights the importance of water quality at the Ross Barnett Reservoir is set for April 21 at Old Trace Park. Organized by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and several partners, WaterFest features educational exhibits, free food, live music, activities for children and more.
  • The sixth annual event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m
  • The event will feature a kayak race at 9:30 a.m.
  • Recycle fashion show for kids at 11:30 a.m.
“The Gator Bait Paddlers Association is organizing the kayak races, which begins at 9:30 a.m. for check in and registration, said David Moore, Gator Bait’s lead. “Kayakers will be split into two races – a three-mile suitable for young or beginning paddlers and a nine-mile race for experienced paddlers. The race is open to all human-powered craft (row boats, kayaks, multi-person row boats).”  For more on the race, visit or call (410) 212-9994.

Gator Bait will also have a display with kayaking equipment and provide paddling instructions for kids.

More info at the Rezonate Website HERE 

The Rez News
Barnett Reservoir

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    Rankin Supervisor Meeting

    The Rankin County Board of Supervisors will meet on Monday, April 16th at 6pm. 

    Normally the supervisors meet at 9am but have scheduled this evening meeting to accommodate those unable to attend a daytime meeting.    

    Meeting location is the Rankin County Court Annex building, 211 E. Government St. in Brandon.

    Questions?  Call the Rankin County Board of Supervisors at:  601-825-1475.

    The Rez News
    Barnett Reservoir

    Rez Scenes

    A few photos taken around The Rez - submitted by Billy Mitchell

    Taken any cool shots around the lake?  Send them to us, we'll share them with the world.

    Click on photo to enlarge

    Remains of a huge Alligator Snapping turtle hit by a boat prop
    shell estimated to be 30 inches long

    Two Great Blue Herons - showing off

    The Rez News
    Barnett Reservoir

    Rankin County Heritage Day

    source: Rankin County Historical Society

    Rankin County
    Heritage Day

    On Saturday, April 21, the city of Brandon will once again be visited by members of the Confederate Army.

     These rebels, however, are members of the Rough and Readys, Camp 265, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and their cannon will fire only blanks.

    The Rankin County Historical Society and the Brandon Public Library will co-sponsor a celebration of Rankin County’s past at the grounds of the library, the historical society museum and City Park from 10:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. on Saturday, April 21.

    There is no admission charge to the event.

    source: Rankin County Historical Society

    Camp 265, SCV, will set up their camp on the grounds using the same sort of equipment that was used at the time of the Civil War and are always ready to answer any questions from visitors.

    Members of Chief Red Jacket and LeFleur’s Bluff chapters of the DAR will be dressed in antebellum costume as they host tours of the historical society’s museum. The museum includes artifacts and many items used every day by our ancestors; these items have been donated by Rankin County citizens or collected by the society.

    Skills used by our ancestors will be demonstrated by local craftsmen throughout the day in the library and in the park pavilion. Crafts include horseshoeing, quilting, weaving, tatting, whittling and wood carving as well as others. Wagon rides will be offered for children of all ages.

    “We have recently replaced the roof on the museum store”, stated Anne Vanderleest, president of the Rankin County Historical Society, “but much remains to be done; Heritage Day will be our first time this year to open our doors to the public, to let them know that our society plans to remain a vital part of the community. We hope Rankin County families will join us in celebrating our county’s rich heritage.”

    Additional parking will be available at City Hall on Highway 80, with courtesy shuttle service to the library and museum area throughout the event.

    For more information contact Anne Vanderleest at 601-825-2672 or visit the Rankin County Historical Society website here.

    The Rez News
    Barnett Reservoir