Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Mississippi Lottery Starts November 25, 2019

The Mississippi Lottery kicks off Monday, November 25, 2019, with the following four scratch-off games, according to the Mississippi Lottery's website.


















The games will have a cost of either $1, $2, or $5 and have a maximum pot of $100,000.

The traditional lottery and multistate games (i.e. MegaMillions and Powerball) with purses sometimes reaching over a Billion Dollars will start in Mississippi on January 30, 2020

According to mslotteryhome.com, there are several participating retailers in the Flowood area and likely will be more soon.  However, as of November 14, 2019, none of the gas stations around the intersection of Spillway Road and Old Fannin Road are participating.  Perhaps this will change as retailers earn a 6% commission on lottery ticket sales.

According to the lottery's website, the first $80 Millon in net proceeds generated from the lottery (you probably won't win) will be used to fund road maintenance and infrastructure improvements (you might win if you're in the road construction business).  Net revenue in excess of $80 Million will be directed to the education enhancement fund.  The designation that the first $80 Million lottery net proceeds fund infrastructure improvements expires after 10 years and then will be directed to the state general fund.  Reservoir area Representative, Brent Powell (HD 59) and Senator, Josh Harkins, (SD 20) voted in favor of the lottery.

In creating the lottery, the Legislature clearly sought to provide funding an additional direct funding source for infrastructure improvements (but only for 10 years).  Perhaps this provided cover for some legislators to vote in favor of the lottery since all recent efforts to raise the state gas tax, which is currently about $0.18/gallon, have failed.  So, it's interesting to consider whether the lottery would have passed the Legislature had the gas tax been raised recently. 

Now that Mississippi has a lottery, only 5 states (Alabama, Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, and Utah) do not have some form of lottery according to PlayUSA.  Hopefully, Alabama politicians remain obstinate and Alabamians travel to Mississippi to play their luck, allowing Mississippi to reap the revenue.  Hopefully, the Mississippi lottery will fare better against Alabamians than our college football teams. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Possession of Alcoholic Beverages Illegal In Rankin County


ABC Wet Dry Map Liquor 2019 Most Recent.jpg

Under Mississippi law, all counties are dry until there is a vote to "come out" from the prohibition of beer and/or alcoholic beverages. Beer and alcoholic beverages (liquor) are regulated differently in Mississippi.   Beer of less than 8% by weight and light wine (e.g. wine coolers of less than 5% alcohol by weight) are not, according to Mississippi statues, "alcoholic beverages".  An alcoholic beverage is a substance that contains more than 5% alcohol by weight (other than beer).   

DOR has a great map illustrating the patchwork quilt of wet/dry counties/municipalities across the state. 

As noted in the linked map, Rankin County remains a "dry" county for alcoholic beverages but wet for beer.  To my knowledge, we've not had a vote since at least 2009 to "come out" from the dry county status.  However, since then, several cities and areas have voted to grant certain restaurants and clubs "resort status" to allow the sale of certain alcoholic beverages by the glass.  This was a major legislative victory for economic development in Rankin County and allowed the margaritas to flow at certain Rankin County Mexican restaurants.   Ole!

Nonetheless, if you want to enjoy a nice bourbon or glass of wine in the comfort of your own home, you'll have to: (a) purchase the bottle of wine or bourbon at a package store outside of Rankin County (note the liquor stores just over the county line in Hinds or Madison County), and (b) break the law by bringing the alcoholic beverage to your home in Rankin County.  Freedom!

Yes, possession of alcoholic beverages is illegal in Rankin County (except at a qualified resort area) pursuant to Miss. Code. Ann. § 61-1-17, and § 97-31-27.  Of course, this is generally not enforced but it remains a law on the books.  Perhaps if the law was enforced, the law would change?   Here is a 1989 Mississippi Supreme Court decision that affirmed a conviction for possession of beer in a dry county that was legally purchased in a wet county and also summarizes the history of Legislative action on the subject.  Can you imagine being prosecuted for simply possessing a bottle of whiskey or wine in your own home? 

Notably, Simpson County, immediately south of Rankin County, voted this November 61% to 39% to "come out" for alcoholic beverage sales. 

Is it time for Rankin County to vote?   

Finally, when talking about alcohol in Mississippi, one must mention Soggy Sweat's "if by whiskey" speech. This is a great Mississippi story that simply needs to be told.   Soggy was a young legislature that gave a great speech about whiskey when the Legislature was debating prohibiting in 1966: 

Here is the speech from Wikipedia:

My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey:
If when you say whiskey you mean the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.
But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman's step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life's great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.
This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Election Roundup

A few days late, but here is a quick election roundup. 

Republicans win all 8 statewide positions.
Republicans will control 75 of 122 seats in the Mississippi House of Representatives
Republicans will control 36 of 52 seats in the Mississippi State Senate. 

Republicans will control redistricting after the 2020 census. 

Rankin County Results

Lee Yancey (R - Castlewoods) wins House District 74, which had been held by Mark Baker. 
Hood outperformed the other Democrats. 

Congrats to all the candidates, for putting themselves out there, and the winners, of course.  Now comes the hard part.

What, if anything, will change? 

  • Can Republicans successfully increase per capita income in Mississippi?
    • Side Note: The best way to increase per-capita income in Mississippi is for Jackson to become a rapidly growing metropolitan area.  
  • What happens to teacher pay? 
  • Who will win intra-party policy disputes (i.e. expanding Medicaid has both been supported and rejected by Republican leaders)? 
    • Who will be able to influence policy more the Governor or Lt. Governor? 
  • What happens with the state flag, if anything?
  • What happens to PERS, if anything?
  • What happens to state tax policy and the gas tax, if anything?
  • What happens to Jackson?
  • Will Rankin County vote on liquor?

The Mississippi Lottery starts November 25, 2019, interestingly only a few weeks after the election.




Tuesday, November 5, 2019

High turnout at Life Church precinct

Photo taken at approximately 8:10 am
Thank a poll worker today. Most are volunteers and will work 12+ hours today!

Election Day Thread - VOTE TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2019

Open thread for Mississippi election day. 

  • Do the Republicans sweep statewide offices or does Jim Hood or someone else pull an upset?  
  • Does any non-mainstream candidate garner more than 3-5% of the vote?
  • How does Tate Reeves perform in Rankin County?  Notably, he did not win Rankin County in the Republican Primary (Bill Waller).  
    • Does the Presidential and Vice Presidential visit push Tate over the top?
  • Turnout high or low? 
  • Do we know the election winners late on Tuesday night or does this drag into Wednesday or even later (House vote)?  
  • Is any statewide candidate obviously good for the Reservoir area? 
    • What needs to change, if anything for the Reservoir area to grow and flourish?
  • Several Unopposed Local Races: 
    • Sen. Josh Harkins (Sen. District 20) is unopposed
    • Rep. Brent Powell (House District 59) is unopposed
    • Rep. Joel Bomgar (House District 58) is unopposed
    • County Supervisor Daniel Cross (District 2) is unopposed 
    • District Attorney (Bubba Bramlett) is unopposed
  • Should some of these elected positions be appointed? 
    • County Surveyor, County Attorney, Coroner, Chancery Clerk, Circuit Clerk, and Constable, and Justice Court Judges
  • Will State beat Saban ever again and will Coach Moorhead be re-elected?

Friday, November 1, 2019

Northshore Landing Subdivision

Northshore, LLC, filed the below subdivision plat for Northshore Landing, Part 1 earlier this year.




This new subdivision is located on the south side of Fannin Landing Circle east of Arbor Landing.

Here is a map showing where the new development is located relative to the Reservoir and Arbor Landing.



Part 1 includes 49 lots, but future expansion south could happen.

Why does a subdivision plat matter?
  • A new subdivision plat represents the birth of a new neighborhood.  How long will these houses, streets, and neighborhood be here?  50 years? 100 years? More?
  • The subdivided property will be much more densely populated than before and represents a transition from rural property to, you guessed it, suburban property.  This means more families in local schools, sports associations, more people shopping locally, traffic, and growth.  
  • A final subdivision plat such as the plat above requires the approval of the local government, in this case, Rankin County. Upon approval of the plat, the local government generally agrees to accept the infrastructure built by the developer (assuming it meets certain standards) and maintain such infrastructure in the future (i.e. forever). 
  • Since the final plat has been approved (and some houses will be sold) prior to the final improvements being completed (e.g. final asphalt layer on streets), the county or city will generally require the developer provide a performance bond to ensure that the final improvements are completed in the development.   The performance bond legally requires completion of the project by a third party bonding company if the developer fails to complete their end of the deal.  
  • When transferring lots in a subdivision, a deed no longer has to include a lengthy description of the property (e.g. a metes and bounds description) but the property can simply be described as Lot X of Northshore Landing, Part 1, a subdivision filed at plat cabinet E, Slot 189.  Basically, it's much more simple and significantly reduces the need for a surveyor. 
Welcome to all the future families and neighbors in Northshore Landing.  

Rankin County Sample Ballot - November 5, 2019 - General Election

General Election Sample Ballot


Most of the contests are unopposed, unfortunately.  

Rankin County Sample Ballot - November 5, 2019 - General Election by TheRezNews.com on Scribd

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Expect Delays on Spillway Road Starting Saturday, November 2, 2019.

Rankin County Supervisor Daniel Cross (District 2) posted the following update on the ongoing road construction and improvements near Spillway Road and Northshore Drive on his official Facebook Page, which is embedded below.

Beginning on Saturday, the Spillway Rd “repaving” phase of this project will begin. Adcamp will be putting down a new surface (overlay with new asphalt/ along with striping). They will be doing this one lane at a time in order to help traffic flow.
This work will begin on Saturday in order to try and make it as easy as possible on the traffic flow. Adcamp has advised us that they will be mindful of the traffic congestion and do their best to make it as easy on our community as possible. This paving project will begin at Spillway (near old Rapids) and go to Hugh Ward BLVD.

I am really excited that this phase is beginning and a new overlay will be in place. Once this is complete, new striping will be put down and hopefully make this area a safer place to drive.
I understand that this project causes some inconveniences to everyone as they make their way to work and around they area. I apologize, but we contract these projects out and stress the importance of safety for everyone.
Hemphill construction company has worked hard and had to overcome several unforeseen obstacles in putting this project together. Weather is messing with them a little now, but next week looks really good and I am excited about their upcoming schedule.
There is never a good time for this type of work and I understand that it is a mess out there. In hindsight, I probably should have just closed the intersection completely for a few months and had everyone use 471 to move around, but I felt the inconvenience was worth the shorter route.
When the county bids the projects out to our contractors, we are at their mercy and control. We oversee the project, but the daily operational plans fall under their command.
This entire project is going to look really good once we are done.
As I get some more definite time parameters on the intersection, I will advise. The “paving phase” of Spillway Rd from the Spillway to Hugh Ward will begin on Saturday and hopefully last about 7-10 days.
Thanks for your patience
Daniel




Reservoir Begins Managing High Water Event (PRVWSD Press Release)

No photo description available.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

NWR @ Flowood High School Construction Update

Thrash Construction, the general contractor for the new NWR @ Flowood High School posted the below video and update on construction on its Facebook Page.

 


The current NWRHS is being renovated to use for a middle school (grades 6-8).

The existing middle school is being renovated to use for 9th grade only.

According to RCSD's website, approximately $59 Million of the total $178 Million bond issue proceeds are allocated to projects in the Northwest Zone (see page 4).

Good schools and the perception of good schools are crucial to maintaining property values and the continued growth of our area.  RCSD is competing with and compared to not only Madison and Clinton but also Hartfield, Jackson Prep, and others.  Hopefully, these new projects will provide great facilities for RCSD students and faculty that result in positive outcomes for each student. 

Let's be honest though, the new high school is surely going to be called Flowood High School, right?










Sunday, October 27, 2019

New Breakfast, Brunch Restaurant Coming to Flowood



According to public notices published for approval of a qualified resort in Flowood (i.e. the legal mechanism that restaurants must go through to sell liquor by the glass in Flowood), Another Broken Egg is opening a new restaurant soon near Academy Sports and Chicken Salad Chick. 

The Another Broken Egg website confirms the location coming soon. 

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Rankin-Hinds Flood Control District Website and One Lake Plan

The Rankin-Hinds Flood Control District has an interesting website here: http://rankinhindsflooddistrict.ms.gov

Lots of maps and data regarding the proposed One-Lake project are available on the website, including this one:



Interestingly, the website notes that One-Lake will not contain a mechanical dam like the Reservoir but instead simply involve moving an existing weir 4 miles south.  According to the website, a weir allows water to overflow the top of the structure at all times.  The Reservoir dam contains mechanical gates that can be operated to adjust outflow from the Reservoir (and the water level in the reservoir) from time to time.

So, if the water level in One-Lake is not something that can be manipulated or adjusted for rain events, how does it provide flood control?  The four Army Corp of Engineer lakes in North Mississippi built specifically for flood control have significant vertical capacity available to impound lots of water.  For example, earlier this year Sardis Lake rose approximately 35+ feet and certainly helped mitigate the tremendous flooding experienced in the Mississippi Delta.  There is probably a good answer to this question, but it's not apparent from the website.

Despite this question and although the One-Lake Project has been subject to some controversy, it is important to note that nothing material has been done to prevent another 1979 or 1983 flood event from occurring.  Further, the success of the central core city is important to the entire metropolitan area, and some other cities similar to Jackson have redeveloped around a water feature.  So, if the One-Lake project will encourage the redevelopment of downtown Jackson and reduce the risk of flooding in the Metro area, the advantages just might outweigh the disadvantages.

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