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.