News Briefs

More Trails for LeFleur East

More trails could be on tap for the LeFleur East area, as neighborhood leaders look for money to expand the LeFleur East Trail.

Meanwhile, Jackson city officials say they should soon bid out the much-anticipated Museum to Market Trail.

“The city should begin to advertise in the next two weeks,” said Engineering Manager Charles Williams.

Once completed, Museum to Market will run from the Mississippi Farmer’s Market in downtown Jackson to Museum Boulevard, near the LeFleur Museum District.

While the city is preparing to bid out that project, several Northsiders are making plans to expand the existing LeFleur East Trail farther south to connect to Jamie Fowler Boyll Park.

LeFleur East President Clay Hays talked about the plans at a recent neighborhood meeting.

“We’ve met with DFA and are working to get easements to connect the LeFleur East trail with the children’s home and then run that to Jamie Fowler Boyll Park,” he said.

DFA is the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration which owns much of the land needed for the trail. The children’s home is the Mississippi Center for Medically Fragile Children, which is being constructed at the R&D Center between Eastover Drive and Lakeland Drive.

Plans for that long-term assisted living facility includes a new trail, which LeFleur East also would like to tie into.

Hays said it’s important to tie that trail into the LeFleur East pathway to ensure that the center will be part of the community.

Easements will also be needed from the Mississippi Schools for the Blind and Deaf and Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

“They all said they’re willing to help. We have to get that done but we’re not sure how long it will take,” Hays said. “The sooner the better.”

He said any expansion of the trail would likely be next year, and be contingent on the completion of the children’s center so the two pathways could be tied together.

“They have to construct the home first,” he said. “They have done the dirt work.”   

No costs for the project had been determined, with Hays saying final plans still had to be hammered out.

The current LeFleur East Trail runs along the south side of Eastover Drive from the stoplight at the District at Eastover to Eastwood Drive. It is approximately 0.6 miles.



Cameras for Laurel Park

Visitors to Laurel Street Park should feel safer, thanks to a recent donation by the Belhaven Improvement Association (BIA).

The association is installing security cameras and an emergency call button at the park, a move that city officials say should help deter crime at the public facility.

BIA President Reed Hogan said the cameras should be installed in the next two weeks, following a vote by the Jackson City Council.

At its meeting last week, the council approved installing the cameras 6-0-1. The council had to sign off on the plans, because the devices would be placed on public right-of-way.

Ward Seven Councilwoman Virgi Lindsay urged the board to approve the measure, saying the cameras were being supported by the Jackson Police Department.

The cameras and call button are being installed at no cost to the city, as is Internet service, which is being connected to the devices by CSpire, according to council documents.

Parks and Recreation Department Director Ison Harris said the devices would record park activities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He said police and parks officials would have access to the video footage.

Voting in favor were Lindsay, Ward One Councilman Ashby Foote, and councilmen Melvin Priester, De’Keither Stamps, Charles Tillman and Aaron Banks. Ward Three Councilman Kenneth Stokes abstained.

Laurel Street Park is located at 1841 Laurel St., in Belhaven.




Livingston Go-cups

Patrons of restaurants in the town of Livingston will soon have the chance to take alcoholic beverages on the go now that a leisure and recreation district, commonly known as a go-cup district, has been established.

“If you take a beer or something out of a restaurant, you can put it in a specific type of cup and move around within the district without any issue,” Madison County board of supervisors’ attorney Katie Snell said.

Bowen Eason approached the Madison County board earlier this month to request a go-cup district for Livingston.

The board instructed Snell to work up boundaries for the district, as well as safety regulations.

The district is 47 acres that covers a mix of commercial and residential property.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill in 2016 allowing certain municipalities to have go-cup districts, which means patrons of establishments within the district may carry out alcoholic beverages and enjoy them within the district bounds.

Since Livingston is not a municipality, Eason came to the board to request the county’s approval for such a district.

Eason said having a go-cup district would be beneficial for the area farmers market, which will begin next month. 



Council Approves Rezoning

Plans to open a new event venue in Fondren recently cleared a major hurdle, thanks to a recent vote by the Jackson City Council.

The council recently approved granting a rezoning request and conditional use permit for property at 420 Meadowbrook Rd., across from the old Meadowbrook McRae’s.

The property was rezoned from C-2 to CMU-1 (community mixed-use), and the owner was granted a conditional use permit to operate a small event venue at the site, said Ward Seven Councilwoman Virgi Lindsay.

“It will be a small events venue center for family reunions, wedding receptions, birthday parties,” she said.

Owners will have to get the conditional use permit renewed every year. Plans also still must be approved by the city’s Site Plan Review Committee, which will look at the actual plans for the facility, including landscaping, Lindsay said.

The measure was approved unanimously. Councilmen Kenneth Stokes and De’Keither Stamps were absent.

The original petition was presented by William Cook Jr., who initially asked for the property be to rezoned to C-3 commercial. He said the purchase of the property was contingent on the rezoning.


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