Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Flowood Pier1 Closing Soon






The Flowood (and Jackson metro's only) Pier1 location will be closing soon due [edit: to many factors that have likely been exasperated by] the Coronavirus Pandemic.

As announced on the Pier1 website, Pier1 is seeking an "orderly wind-down" of its retail operations and closing all of its retail locations, which obviously includes Flowood.  

Details

Pier 1 announced on May 19, 2020 that it has filed a motion seeking court approval to begin an orderly wind-down of the company’s retail operations as soon as reasonably possible after store locations are able to reopen following mandated closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company expects to continue serving customers in its stores through early fall 2020. Store closing dates will vary by location.

Notably, the Flowood Pier1 location recently paid over $23,000 in annual real property taxes and collected thousands of dollars of sales taxes. 

Brick and mortar retail is certainly tough, but American ingenuity and innovation will prevail.  With that in mind, a nice midsize building will be available in Dogwood in the coming months.  

What's likely to take its place?






PRVWSD Raising Lease Transfer Fee

Effective June 1, 2020, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (PRVWSD or PRV) is raising its lease transfer fee from $190 to $250.  

The PRVWSD Board took such action at it's April 16, 2020, meeting. PRV Agenda 4.16.2020.  According to a PRV spokesperson, this is the first time the fee has been increased since 1990.

For the uninitiated, all PRV property is leased from the PRV.  In order to transfer your lease rights to the PRV leasehold property, the transferor/transferee must execute a lease assignment and submit it to the PRV lease department.  PRV executes the assignment and then records the assignment in the applicable Chancery Clerk's land records office.  This service is not free and currently costs $190.  PRV is raising this fee to $250 starting June 1, 2020.

Notably, the recording fees charged by Chancery Clerks for recording land records increased substantially on January 1, 2020.  These recording fees are included in the PRV lease transfer fee, so, according to a PRV spokesperson, this increase was requested due to the increase of recording fees and postage rates.

Either way, it's going to be $60 more expensive to transfer PRV property, soon. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Reservoir Parks, Piers to Open May 7, 2020


PRVWSD issued the following press release: 


Tractor Supply Co., Coming to Flowood


Tractor Supply Co., is building a store in Flowood.





View from Lakeland Drive


The bricks and mortar for the new retail outlet can be seen east of Waffle House on the north side of Lakeland Drive.  See the map below:



According to tractorsupply.com, Tractor Supply already has three other locations in the metro area (Canton, Clinton, and Richland), so this development appears to be TSC's latest foray in the Jackson metro centered on the Reservoir area.

An email request to Tractor Supply for further details has not been returned.
UPDATE: 2:00 5/6/2020 - TSC sent the following email:

"... a Tractor Supply will be opening in Flowood in Summer 2020. Tractor Supply is committed to providing our customers with the essential items such as animal feedpet food and supplies, and cleaning necessities. Other essential items for the rural lifestyle include, pet medicines, agricultural supplies, and heating fuel along with hardware and maintenance supplies. The store will provide about 15 new jobs to the area, with at least half of those being full time positions....The Flowood store is one of more than 80 stores that will open in 2020."  About Tractor Supply

Since we're talkin tractors... here is a tribute to Joe Diffy, who unfortunately died recently from COVID-19.  RIP.


Monday, May 4, 2020

Reservoir Police vs WLBT CAGE MATCH!

The official Facebook account for the Reservoir Police took issue with C.J. LeMaster of WLBT's reporting of the boating/sandbar action over the weekend.

Here is CJ's original report posted to Facebook at 1:10 on Sunday, 5/3/2020



Here is the full post for those that don't want to click:
RESERVOIR POLICE THANKS 3 ON YOUR SIDE FOR ALERTING THEM TO YESTERDAY'S VIOLATIONS: The Reservoir Police Department hopes to keep a closer eye on the cove area near the Ross Barnett Reservoir Outlook today after photos showed "clear violations" of Gov. Tate Reeves' safer-at-home order by various boaters, according to Bobby Cleveland, liaison officer with the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District.
Cleveland confirmed the authenticity of the photos I posted yesterday and said it's his understanding Reservoir Police arrived after most of the boats in the photos had already dispersed.
"Our officers didn't get back there until closer to 4:30 or 5 p.m.," Cleveland said, which would have been 30 minutes to an hour after I took my photos of the area.
Cleveland also thanked 3 On Your Side for the social media posts and coverage because it should deter future behavior going forward.
"We are aware of the problem there from yesterday, and I have to credit you for making us more aware of it," Cleveland said. "They were stacked in there yesterday, it is against the governor's order, and it is our intention to enforce that."
Cleveland said he understands Reservoir Police will have more concentrated enforcement there today, and that officers are trying to disperse rather than cite, but will issue citations if necessary.
He did not have information on how many boaters were cited yesterday.

The following was posted to the Reservoir Police Department's official Facebook Account about 5 p.m. on 5/4/2020:

DO WE HAVE MEDIA BIAS IN THE METRO???
The Barnett Reservoir was the target of Media Reports both on social media and television news over the weekend due to violations of social distancing. Please remember the Governor allowed the Barnett to reopen with boat occupancy and social distancing restrictions. At issue was a group at an area off the Natchez Trace Overlook. There were in fact a few violations in an area approximately 150’ x 400’. In one outlets own photos from the same area at the same time showed vessels spaced appropriately.
What I did not see was any reports from the same news outlets on the eight area metro Walmarts, the Metro Kroger and other grocery stores, Sams Clubs or Cosco. These locations have so many customers I won’t go there because of the concentration of people. The local media instead decided to highlight an extremely small area of the 33,000 acre Barnett Reservoir.
Finally, no one from the Reservoir Police Department talked to Mr. LeMaster so assertions he alerted our agency are blatantly false. As was the assertion the Reservoir Police thanked him for his sensational social media piece, again no one from the Police Department has spoken to him. He did have quotes from Bobby Cleveland who is a paid contractor for for the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District but does not speak for the Reservoir Police. Mr. LeMaster did as he intended, he sensationalized a hot topic to generate a media buzz. In my 14 years as Chief this is only my second time to have this type journalism from WLBT. Usually they work hard to get the full story out. I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come.

Commentary:

Unfortunately, RPD's response and the comments are emblematic of the state of political discourse and engaging others in a measured, respectful, and open manner.  Even when the underlying fact that violations of the social distancing requirements are not in dispute "There were in fact a few violations...",  RPD seems to believe it or apparently the Rez patrons are a victim for such facts being reported.  RPD [like many of us] would rather point out others' lack of compliance than objectively/humbly acknowledge our own violation.  Does the media sensationalize things from time to time? You bet.  Does RPD have a legitimate beef about someone speaking for RPD that is apparently not authorized to do so?  That sure seems to be the case.  Is Facebook the appropriate medium to air such grievances? Probably not.  Do violations of social distancing at grocery/home improvement stores excuse violations on the Reservoir?  No.



Monday, April 27, 2020

Senior Living Center Coming to Flowood

You may have noticed the land being cleared on the southwest corner of Lakeland Drive and Cooper Road. 

According to publicly available data, Cooperwood Senior Living, LLC, acquired approximately 7 acres at this location and appears to be developing a new senior living center there. 

An email to info@cooperwoodseniorliving.com went unreturned.
Looking across Lakeland Drive









Thursday, April 9, 2020

Gator on Lakeland Drive

A friend shared this video of a gator crossing Lakeland Drive in Flowood recently.




Video Credit: Charles and Jenny Lacey

Monday, March 30, 2020

Americans: "Salty, Tough SOB's...that will not be defeated"!

Rep. Brian Mast (FL 18) gave a great floor speech. We will prevail!

 


Text of Rep. Mast's floor speech:

"I WOULD RATHER DIE THAN SEE MY COUNTRY STUMBLE OR FALL. AND BY GOD, I MEAN THAT AND I DON'T THINK I'M THE ONLY ONE IN THIS BODY THAT FEELS THIS WAY. I'M WORRIED THAT AS A RESULT OF A VIRUS THAT WAS BORN IN THE DISGUSTING MARKET IN WUHAN, CHINA, THAT WAS HIDDEN FROM THE WORLD THAT OUR COUNTRY MAY STUMBLE. BUT I CAN TELL YOU THAT THAT WORRY HAS SUBSIDED QUICKLY FOR ME AS I LOOKED AROUND MY OWN COMMUNITY AND REALIZED AGAIN THAT AMERICANS ARE A SALTY GROUP OF TOUGH S.O.B.'S THAT ARE DEFEATED BY ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. THIS ISN'T GOING TO DEFEAT US EITHER. THERE'S PARTS OF THIS BILL THAT I DON'T LIKE BUT I'M PROUD THAT WHEN AMERICANS WAKE UP TOMORROW THEY'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO KNOW THAT WITH WAKE UP HERE NOT AS VICTIMS BUT AS PEOPLE WITH A GREATER OPPORTUNITY THAN ANYBODY ACROSS THE WORLD, 50 STARS, 13 RED AND WHIDE STRIPES, WE GET TO DECIDE FOR OURSELVES THAT TODAY IS BETTER THAN YESTERDAY THIS WEEK IS BETTER THAN NEXT WEEK THIS MONTH IS BETTER THAN LAST MONTH AND NEXT YEAR AND SO ON. NOBODY ELSE GETS TO DECIDE THAT FOR US. THAT HASN'T CHANGED AND WILL NEVER CHANGE. I YIELD BACK."

Monday, March 16, 2020

Covid-19 caused Flowood and PRVWSD to Close Parks

Flowood Police Department posted that Winner's Circle Park and the Nature Park are closed until further notice.



PRVWSD has also closed several parks to VEHICULAR TRAFFIC until further notice. This presumes that those that are able to walk to/in the park are able. Perhaps this is the approach Flowood should take at least with the nature park.


 PRVWSD issued the following press release:

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

House Votes For Alternative Medical Marijuana Initiative Proposal

A ballot initiative to allow the use of Medical Marijuana will be on the November 2020 ballot.

According to the Secretary of State's website, the initiative can be summarized as follows:

Proposed Ballot Title:
Should Mississippi allow qualified patients with debilitating medical conditions, as certified by Mississippi licensed physicians, to use medical marijuana?

Proposed Ballot Summary:
Initiative Measure No. 65 proposes to amend the Mississippi Constitution to allow qualified patients with debilitating medical conditions, as certified by Mississippi licensed physicians, to use medical marijuana. This amendment would allow medical marijuana to be provided only by licensed treatment centers. The Mississippi State Department of Health would regulate and enforce the provisions of this amendment.

Getting an initiative on the ballot in Mississippi is very difficult and basically requires thousands of certified signatures of voters evenly distributed across the state's congressional districts.  Mississippians for Compassionate Care, the group behind Medical Marijuana in Mississippi, met these stringent requirements and the noted ballot initiative will be on 2020 ballot.

Despite meeting the stringent hurdles to actually get an initiative on the ballot, promotors must still contend with the Legislature's right to propose alternatives to any ballot initiative.  This Legislative alternative was previously employed in the Initiative 42 debate a few years ago.  Notably, both initiatives 42 and 42A (the Legislative alternative) failed according to Ballotopedia.com.

The Mississippi House of Representatives passed an alternative to the Medical Marijuana ballot initiative. 

Reservoir area Representatives voted as follows:
A yes vote favors the alternative, a no vote would allow the ballot initiative to proceed without an alternative.  The alternative ballot measure passed the House 72-49 and now goes to the Senate. 

Assuming that the alternative passes the Senate and makes it on the ballot, the ballot will likely pose two questions to voters (following the initiative 42 template).  The first question will ask voters to vote for approval of either initiative (the original/alternative) or against both.  The second question would present the original initiative and the Legislature's alternative.  Only if the first question receives a majority, then the option receiving the most votes would become binding.  Clear as Mississippi mud!
Here is a video of an exchange between Joel Bomgar (Madison) a proponent of the original initiative and Trey Lamar, the sponsor of the legislative alternative measure.
 Bomgar has props for final speech on the bill. #msleg pic.twitter.com/pBUff7BWTH

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Vote Today - Primary Elections for Federal Office


Vote today in the primary races for Congress and President.

Here is a link to the Rankin County sample ballot, which should be the same for all of the Reservoir Area.

Races to watch:

Congress - Republican Primary - MS3 (Reservoir Area and Some Parts of Madison County)
  • James Tulp 
  • Michael Guest
Democratic Presidential Primary
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Joe Biden 
You can only vote in one party's primary.  For example, you cannot vote for Rep. Guest and Joe Biden because they will appear on different ballots. 

Prediction: Chalk advances across the board. 

Friday, March 6, 2020

Sell and Ship Wine to Mississippi - Face the Long Arm of the Law and Get Sued In Mississippi

Woman Smiling

The Mississippi Supreme Court recently held that an out-of-state retailer that ships wine to customers in Mississippi is subject to the personal jurisdiction of Mississippi courts.  This means that a retailer can be forced into a Mississippi court for permitting the shipment of wine, purchased on the retailer's website, to a Mississippi address.  There is some nuance here, but if you found a wine club that will ship you a hard-to-find bottle of wine or bourbon, the retailer risks getting sued in Mississippi court when it allows you to ship the wine to your address in the Sip. In short, most retailers are simply not going to ship their devil's brew to Mississippi. 

Based on the Complaint, the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) of the Department of Revenue (DOR) conducted an investigation by purchasing wine on various websites for shipment to locations around the state. After the retailers shipped wine into the state, DOR brought suit in Rankin County Chancery Court seeking an injunction to terminate the shipments of the out-of-state retailers into Mississippi.  The Complaint is below. The Rankin County Chancellor ruled that no personal jurisdiction over the defendants exists (DOR lost initially but won the appeal).

The Mississippi Supreme Court opinion ruling in favor of DOR and holding that personal jurisdiction exists largely focuses on legal and jurisdictional concepts that probably don't mean much to your average Reservoirian unless you're also a first-year law school student.   One interesting point is that the wine retailers defended the suit by claiming that the buyer is actually shipping wine into Mississippi because ownership of the wine transferred to the buyer at purchase.  In other words, the purchaser owns the wine and is responsible for shipping the wine to Mississippi, not the retailers.  TSCOM did not buy this argument noting that one retailer would replace wine damaged in shipment at the retailer's expense.

The case is a red light reminder that Mississippi allocates valuable state resources to ensure that we are simply not allowed to freely contract for the purchase of certain alcoholic beverages, unless, the state itself serves as a wholesaler and gets a cut of the action.  It's also a reminder that possession of wine, whiskey, bourbon, rum, vodka, and similar alcoholic beverages is prohibited in Rankin County.  Does this make economic development more or less likely in Rankin County?

Ultimately, this is our state, so if this policy of prohibition is not something you support, you should let your state representative and senator know.  The court, of course, simply calls balls and strikes.


ABC Complaint against Wine Express et al by TheRezNews.com on Scribd

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Your Vote, Your Government

Daniel Cross, the Rankin County Supervisor for District 2, represents the vast majority of Rankin County Reservoir area residents for Rankin County matters (District 2 is shaded blue above).  Accordingly, Mr. Cross seems to provide the most information and also receive the most attention of all the supervisors regarding the construction work at the Spillway Road, Northshore Drive, Old Fannin Road intersection.

However, it's important to note that there are 4 other county supervisor positions, and the actions/inactions of your specific supervisor/representatives are ultimately what matters.  At least one other County Supervisor (District 5, light blue/green) represents some Reservoir area residents and District 5 actually includes a corner of the Spillway Road, Northshore Drive, Old Fannin Road intersection.  Specifically, several residences west of Old Fannin Road including Barnett Bend subdivision are represented by District 5 Supervisor, Jay Bishop.  District 4 (shaded red above) Supervisor, Steve Gaines represents all residents west of Lakeland Drive, such as all the development on Holly Bush Road and Baker Lane.  Presumably, some of these residents travel through this particular construction zone daily.  You can see your specific supervisor district with this online map.

Additionally, as noted by the Supervisor Cross, the Fannin/Spillway/Northshore project is lead by MDOT.  MDOT is governed by a three member transportation commision with each district equivalent to the Mississippi Supreme Court Districts (Map Here).  All Rankin and Madison Country residents are represented by the central district MDOT Transportation Commissioner, Willie Simmons.

The point of this post is not to deflect or direct blame of the construction project (or any other project) from or to any particular supervisor or representative, but to highlight the difficulty in connecting voters to their supervisors/representatives that can actually influence policy.  Voters have one vote based on their residence.  So, a voter that is upset about the action/inaction of a representative of another district has very little leverage with that representative.  However, voters that are engaged and use their potential vote to influence their actual representative certainly help things get done.

At TheRezNews.com, we want to help you cut through the layers of government and various representative districts to help you hold your specific representative accountable. 

Follow TheRezNews.com by dropping your email address in the box to the right.

Update: The title of this article has been updated.




Saturday Morning Chuckles

Have you ever seen the resemblance between the shape of the state of Mississippi and Bart Simpson? 


Back to regularly scheduled programming soon. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Flowood Sombra Closing

Sombra Mexican Kitchen - Flowood will be closing February 29th according to the following post on its Facebook page:



Thursday, February 13, 2020

Interactive Map Showing Estimated Flood Inundation


NOAA MAP

This is a very interest map that estimates the extent of inundation for various Pearl River levels.

When you click the link, go to "Pearl River at Jackson" at the top.

Click "layers" at the bottom and uncheck all, except for the 38-foot box, which is the current forecast.

As you can see, it's going to flood several homes in Northeast Jackson and come very close to (if not flood some) homes in Rankin County west of Old Fannin Road.






Weather.gov Projects Pearl River to Reach 38 Feet at Jackson


According to Weather.gov, the Pearl River at Jackson is projected to crest at 38 feet on Sat/Sun.  

Note the graphic below from the weather.gov, indicates that the 38 feet level is equivalent to approximately 66kcfs or 66,000 cubic feet per second of flow.  Of course, this flow rate and river level may be affected by a multitude of variables, including sediment.  




Notably, 38 feet would be a top 3 crest for the Pearl River at Jackson.  Behind only the 1983 flood (39.6 and 1979 at 43.3 feet).

District 2 Supervisor, Daniel Cross Update On Spillway/Northshore Road Construction

Rankin County Supervisor (R - District 2) posted the following update to his Facebook page:


I just wanted to give an update from our Board of Supervisors meeting this morning.
Northshore / Spillway Project 
We have had numerous meetings with Hemphill Construction over the last few weeks. Their work over the last two months is unacceptable and I’m am extremely disappointed. No one has been on site since the 27th of November. We have had numerous issues with vehicles being damaged and extremely long delays. Our county crews have been out constantly trying to make this area as best as possible. 

One of the things that has made this process very difficult to understand is the Mdot regs on work days. These guidelines are very limited on the required days for work during December, January and February. For example, they can only be charged for 5 days of work in February regardless of how many they actually work. This allows the contractor to manipulate the time parameters. This was about a “110 day project” that began on May 12. Very little work was done in Aug/Sept, thus creating the mess they are in now.
Enough of the stuff most people don’t want to hear... 

So here is the latest:
The county has convinced Hemphill to finish the Spillway lane that was added immediately. Their plan was to do this under their final overlay. This has changed and they will finish this immediately. There is one additional lane to be dug out on Northshore and repair, but it cannot be done in this rainy weather. So in the mean time, some overlay will be done in the areas that are completed around the intersections and Kroger. Also, the new traffic light will be installed over the next 10 days.
This project is funded with an 80/20 match with MDOT. The county portion is around 400k. These contracts and oversight rests mainly on MDOT. The county adheres to their regulations 

In summary, Spillway Rd additions will be finished Immediately. This will tie in directly with the county’s overlay from November. Additional patch work and buttoning up of the intersections on Northshore will begin in the next 10 days as they wait for dryer weather to replace the inner lane. This should make the area safer and traffic to flow better. 
I apologize for this mess and inconvenience. Hopefully this will be done soon.

Daniel

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

PRVWSD Manages Another High Water Event

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District issued the following press release:


PRVWSD Media Release - 02112020 High Water Event by TheRezNews.com on Scribd

Did Rankin County Liquor Prohibition Kill Any Chance of Landing Costco?

Costco opens its first Mississippi location in Ridgeland/Madison County in a few weeks.  Costco is a major bulk retailer that apparently is a "higher-end" version of Sam's Club.  This new Costco store is the culmination of several years of disputes over the potential location of the store.  As when the Reservoir was built, some people get upset about the prospect of change and growth.  


In addition to the Ridgeland site, several other sites around the metro area were at least somewhat considered for the development. Costco considered several properties in Flowood/Rankin County.    



In 2014, The Clarion-Ledger reported: 

Just behind Dogwood Festival Market is one of the two Flowood sites under consideration. Community Bank owns the parcel, which is marketed as Flowood Town Center. The other possibility in Flowood is land across the Walmart Supercenter, marketed as The Pinelands. Texas-based Encore Enterprises, a privately owned national real estate company, owns that site, which is abutted by a residential neighborhood.

The rumor mill indicates that there were other Rankin County sites considered in addition to those reported above.  Obviously, a Costco would have been a major retail development for Flowood and the Northwest Rankin area and would have generated significant tax revenue for Rankin County schools and local governments.  

The Costco is projected to have annual sales of approximately $100 million, which will generate $7 million in sales tax. The city will receive 18.5 percent of that, or approximately $1.3 million, McGee said.
Also, the store is expected to generate around $47,617 a year in new property taxes for the city, $77,830 in ad valorem taxes for Madison County and $127,000 in new ad valorem taxes for the Madison County School District.
However, Costco derives a significant portion of its revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages like liquor and wine.  Since Rankin County prohibits the sale and possession of Alcoholic Beverages (i.e. liquor/wine exceeding 5% alcohol - not beer), the "word on the street" is that Costco quickly ended consideration of the Rankin County/Flowood property.  In other words, Rankin County might be disadvantaged for attracting certain development when compared to sites in Madison County and (gasp) Hinds County since Rankin County retailers cannot sell Alcoholic Beverages for off-site consumption.  RN Note: Several businesses in Rankin County are Qualified Resorts, which permits the sale of Alcoholic Beverages by-the-glass but not the sale of a bottle of wine or liquor for off-premises consumption.  

The new Costco will generate millions of dollars in property and sales taxes for Ridgeland/Madison County over the next several years (some courtesy of Rankin County residents that make their way over to shop).  Perhaps the Ridgeland/Madison County site was the preferred site all along, but Rankin County voters and residents should know whether or not Rankin County's status as a dry county for the sale of Alcoholic Beverages in any way disadvantaged the area from consideration of such a development.