Boat Ramps Opened
All boat ramps have been reopened in the Pelahatchie Bay area at the Barnett Reservoir, which have been closed since October 2018 due to the presence of the aquatic pest: giant salvinia.
The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (PRVWSD) board voted to reopen the ramps during the regular posted hours at the recommendation of the giant salvinia task force. While the task force is optimistic about their efforts so far, the battle against giant salvinia isn’t quite over yet. The board is keeping the other parts of the emergency action plan in place, including the barriers beneath the Northshore Parkway Bridge and low lake level.
The barriers beneath the bridge will remain to block traffic between Pelahatchie Bay and the main lake to prevent further spreading of the plant.
The lake level, which officials say is their best weapon in eradicating giant salvinia, will remain at 296.
There are also still areas of the bay that are closed to any watercrafts, except those of PRVWSD and task force members. These areas include north of the main boat channel and north of a line of buoys from channel marker A of the main channel to the first channel marker along the causeway.
Tournament fishing is prohibited in the bay as well.
Boaters in Pelahatchie Bay can help officials with their efforts by using the boat cleaning stations posted at the boat ramps. Giant salvinia is most commonly spread by boats. Boaters are encouraged to “clean, drain and dry” before launching and after trailering. Vegetation can get caught between the trailer and the boat and in other hard to see areas. Giant salvinia could live up to a week outside of the water and even longer than that on a moist surface.
Sheffield to be repaved
Residents in the Sheffield area, as well as Jackson Academy (JA) families, will soon have some much-needed relief on their daily commutes.
The Hinds County Board of Supervisors recently approved repaving Sheffield Drive, a major artery that serves the Sheffield neighborhood and the school of more than 1,000 students.
The project was approved at the board’s July 15 meeting. The county is now waiting for the city of Jackson to sign off on the interlocal agreement, which will allow the paving to move forward.
“It is going through the process now,” said District One Supervisor Robert Graham. “We should not have any issues.”
Once the city signs off on the interlocal agreement, it will then be sent back to the county and forwarded to the Mississippi secretary of state and attorney general for final approval. State approval is usually a formality, Graham explained.
Because of that process, as well as the unpredictable weather, the supervisor said the project likely will not be completed before school starts back. The first day of school for grades nine through 12 is August 8. Lower grades begin the following day.
The project is expected to cost no more than $120,000 and will include milling and overlaying the street between Ridgewood Road and Northampton Drive.
Graham said residents and school officials reached out to him about the condition of the street.
“I’ve been receiving calls over several months about how bad the road was,” he said. “After evaluating the road, the amount of traffic, the significance of the road, and if we had enough money, we decided we were able to go ahead and get it paved.”