Ridgeland Mississippi News

Celebrate Salamander Saturday at the Parkway Information Cabin

The Natchez Trace Parkway invites visitors to join researchers, staff, and volunteers at the Parkway Information Cabin to celebrate the diversity of salamanders found in Mississippi. The event is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 6. 

Biologist Tom Mann will share his experiences and research about the Webster, spotted, and marbled salamanders that migrate seasonally across the Parkway. Park staff will be on hand to share how they monitor the salamanders and help participants discover what they can do to help protect the diversity of animals along the Parkway. Children can make a salamander refrigerator magnet to take home. 

The Foundation for the Conservation of Salamanders started this initiative to raise awareness about salamanders, their habitats and their role in the ecosystem. For more information about Salamander Saturday, visit

This program is free of charge. The Parkway Information Cabin is located approximately 1 mile north of I-55 at exit 105A (Parkway milepost 102.4), or just east of the intersection of Rice Road and Highway 51. For additional information, call 601-856-7321.

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at



Lake Harbour Drive/Spillway Road Resurfacing Project Announced

The City of Ridgeland announced the Lake Harbour Drive/Spillway Road Resurfacing Project at a public event in Ridgeland on April 26. The roadway will be resurfaced from Northpark Drive to Breakers Lane and traffic signals will be upgraded. A start date for the project will be announced in coming months.

Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee said, “Lake Harbour Drive is one of the critical transportation corridors through Ridgeland, utilized by citizens who shop, live and do business off this roadway, and by those traveling into Madison County from Rankin County. Resurfacing Lake Harbour Drive will ensure smooth travel for motorists on this heavily traveled portion for many years. Maintaining our roads for their best condition is and continues to be a top priority in Ridgeland.”

Lake Harbour Drive in front of Fratesi’s Restaurant, 910 Lake Harbour Drive

The project is valued at $2,140,000. Federal funds for the project in the amount of $1,712,000 will be appropriated through the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The City of Ridgeland will provide $428,000 for the project.

Lake Harbour Drive consists of five lanes from Northpark Drive to Old Canton Road. The roadway becomes four lanes with landscaped medians and turnouts between Old Canton Road and Harbor Drive. Lake Harbour Drive’s name changes to Spillway Road at the intersection with Harbor Drive. Striped medians replace landscaped medians between Harbor Drive and Breakers Lane. At signaled intersections, in-pavement vehicle detection systems will be replaced with camera vehicle detection equipment. The length of roadway to be resurfaced is 1.3 miles.

For more information about the project, contact the Public Works Department at 601-853-2027.

News Release- Lake Harbour Drive Resurfacing

City of Ridgeland Recognized for 2017 enHance Membership Renewal

Pictured are Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Gary Rikard (left) and City of Ridgeland Public Works Director Mike McCollum and City of Ridgeland Community Affairs Coordinator Sandra Monohan (right).

The City of Ridgeland was recognized recently for its membership renewal as an enHance Steward by the Mississippi Department of Quality during its annual workshop and awards luncheon. 

As stated in an MDEQ news release dated April 20, 2017 titled, MDEQ Recognizes 2017 enHance Members, “enHance is a voluntary stewardship program begun in 2009 that recognizes committed environmental leaders who accomplish goals beyond their legal requirements. enHance is open to facilities, cities, counties, and other entities who are interested in the program, and applicants can choose from three tiers: Leader, Steward, or Associate.”    

Mayor Gene McGee said, “Ridgeland is proud to be recognized again for our voluntary participation in MDEQ’s enHance stewardship program. When we joined six years ago, the City of Ridgeland had already been actively working to reduce our environmental impact. We had been promoting recycling for several years and implementing policies that reduced our fuel, electricity, and paper usage. Improving the quality of life for our citizens has been a cornerstone for decades. We continue to maintain a long-term vision of a sustainable community for Ridgeland.”

Ridgeland’s renewal application included the following: The City of Ridgeland is in the process of converting trucks to natural gas fuels resulting in fewer emissions, fuel consumption, and lower vehicle maintenance. Ridgeland has also expanded their recycling program with solar powered recycling compactors. In addition to being an enHance member, the City of Ridgeland is a recognized Tree City USA, a Bicycle Friendly Community, and a top 100 places to live by Money Magazine.”

See the entire MDEQ news release>>>

Ridgeland has been an enHance member since 2011.

Ridgeland Firefighters Graduate from Mississippi State Fire Academy

City of Ridgeland Firefighters recently graduated from the Mississippi State Fire Academy with fire fighter certificates. Fire Fighter 1001 I-II is a highly intensive 7-week course that includes classroom hands-on exercises to teach techniques for firefighting, search and rescue, and vehicle extrication. The Ridgeland Fire Department is pleased to provide the most highly qualified employees to serve the citizens and visitors of Ridgeland. Pictured left to right are Ridgeland’s recent graduates: Bobby Aubrey, Ryan Connelly, and Geordan Permanter.

Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Lake Harbour Drive Extension Project

Photo credit: Elwin Williams. Groundbreaking Ceremony held at Ridgeland City Hall for the Extension of Lake Harbour Drive from Hwy 51 to Highland Colony Pkwy. Pictured l-r: Ridgeland City Engineer Chris Bryson, Alderman Ken Heard, Alderman Kevin Holder, Alderman Scott Jones, Alderman Chuck Gautier, Mayor Gene McGee, Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall, Alderman-at-large D.I. Smith, Madison County Chancery Clerk Ronny Lott, Ridgeland Public Works Director Mike McCollum, Central Mississippi Planning and Development District Director of Planning and Management Chuck Carr, and Waggoner Engineering Vice President of Operations Hunter Arnold.

The City of Ridgeland hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Lake Harbour Drive Extension Project on April 13. A new four-lane divided roadway will be constructed, extending Lake Harbour Drive from Highway 51 to Highland Colony Parkway.

A total distance of approximately 0.8 miles of roadway will be built. The project includes the extension of the existing multiuse trail alongside Lake Harbour Drive. The new roadway will cross the railroad at-grade, follow the southern border of Freedom Ridge Park, cross Interstate 55 with a bridge, and connect with Newpointe Drive, south of Church of the Highlands.

Mayor Gene McGee said, “The extension of Lake Harbour Drive from Highway 51 will provide a critical east-west corridor that will greatly enhance transportation in Ridgeland. This roadway is very important for the reduction of traffic in the Jackson Street area. It will also extend the multiuse trail system. After completion, motorists will be able to travel from Highland Colony Parkway all the way into Rankin County.”

Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall and Mayor Gene McGee (l-r) show the project overview map for the Lake Harbour Drive Extension Project. The new roadway will be four-lane divided with a multiuse trail, taking Lake Harbour Drive from Highway 51 to Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland. This important east-west connector road for Ridgeland will enhance transportation for the greater metro area.

“We are pleased to partner with the City of Ridgeland on a project that will further connect this community and improve efficiency for residents in this area,” said Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall. “Helping local communities with these kinds of projects supports economic growth and development for the city and the state.”

The first phase of the project will be a box culvert replacement under the Canadian National Railway. The City of Ridgeland is advertising for construction bids. The project was designed by Waggoner Engineering.

The total project is estimated at $27 million with funding coming from federal, state, county, and local sources. Federal funds for the project in the amount of $14.8 million are appropriated through the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Project overview map for Lake Harbour Drive Extension project. The new roadway will be 0.8 miles and include an at-grade railroad crossing and a bridge over Interstate 55.

For more information about the project, please contact the City of Ridgeland Public Works Department at 601-853-2027.

Ridgeland Earns Awards from Keep Mississippi Beautiful

Ridgeland brought home three awards from the Keep Mississippi Beautiful Twenty-Fourth Annual Awards Luncheon held on April 6, 2017. Mayor Gene McGee earned Mayor of the Year. Keep Ridgeland Beautiful Chairman Jan Richardson earned the Pat Fordice Award. Ridgeland High School earned an Honorable Mention for Recycle Bowl. From left to right: City of Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee, Keep Mississippi Beautiful Executive Director Sarah Kountouris, Pat Fordice Award Winner Jan Richardson, Keep Ridgeland Beautiful Member and Ridgeland High School Recycle Bowl Coordinator Rachel Collier.

City of Ridgeland officials and Keep Ridgeland Beautiful officers announce awards earned at the Keep Mississippi Beautiful Annual Awards Luncheon held April 6, 2017. Three awards were taken home by Ridgeland at this event that recognizes organizations and individuals from around the state of Mississippi for efforts in promoting the mission of Keep Mississippi Beautiful, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing litter and promoting recycling and community greening. Awards were presented to Ridgeland High School, Jan Richardson, and Mayor Gene McGee.

Ridgeland High School Recycle Bowl was presented an Honorable Mention Award in recognition of outstanding volunteer service in our community and the state of Mississippi. Recycle Bowl, a student-run recycling collection program, collected 15,054 pounds of recyclable paper over four weeks in the fall of 2016. Keep Ridgeland Beautiful provided education to students and support to the sponsor teachers, Ginger Joe and Kathy Evans. The City of Ridgeland partnered with Waste Management, Inc. to provide recycle bins. Recycling is continuing at the school with support from Keep Ridgeland Beautiful, the City of Ridgeland, and Waste Management.

Mayor of the Year award went to Mayor Gene McGee of the City of Ridgeland. Mayor McGee was honored as the mayor in Mississippi who best helps to promote Keep Mississippi Beautiful’s mission. Sarah Kountouris, executive director of Keep Mississippi Beautiful remarked about his serving as a role model to other mayors with his efforts in city beautification, recycling, litter prevention and reduction, and improving the quality of life of residents. Keep Mississippi Beautiful award judges selected him from among all mayoral candidates for his leadership that keeps the city’s parks, streets and public spaces clean and attractive, his promotion of recycling, tree protection and tobacco-free public spaces, and his environmental stewardship and encouragement of green spaces.

The Pat Fordice Award honors a leader of beautification, recycling and litter cleanup in Mississippi, given in honor of the former Mississippi first lady who was a dedicated supporter of Keep Mississippi Beautiful. Jan Richardson, founding member of Keep Ridgeland Beautiful and its first chairman, was given this honor. Her guidance led Keep Ridgeland Beautiful to earn the prestigious William Nash award from Keep America Beautiful in its first year. She has been instrumental in establishing a Wildflower Trails of Mississippi project in Ridgeland, working with local students on recycling and greening projects, maintaining a shoe recycling program that provides funds to the organization, transforming Midway Park during the Great American Cleanup, and promoting the mission at numerous public events.

“I am humbled by the award of Mayor of the Year, and I deeply appreciate Keep Mississippi Beautiful selecting me for this honor,” said Mayor Gene McGee. “I also want to express my appreciation and congratulations to Jan Richardson, Pat Fordice Award winner, and to Ridgeland High School for their honorable mention. Jan Richardson is a role model of an involved citizen who wants to make her community the best that it can be. I’m proud of the students, teachers, and Keep Ridgeland Beautiful members who helped to make the Recycle Bowl a success. I want to encourage them to keep it going in the coming years, and I want to encourage all Ridgeland citizens to get involved in keeping Ridgeland beautiful in any and every way that they can.”



Hydrant Maintenance

The Ridgeland Fire Department will be conducting routine hydrant maintenance beginning April 11 and ending the second week of May. Firefighters will be working throughout the city. As a resident, if your tap water becomes discolored due to their efforts, there is no cause for concern. It is not unsafe and the water will clear up after running for a few minutes. If you have any questions, please call Central Fire Station at 601-856-7004.

East County Line Road Resurfacing Project Announced

The City of Ridgeland and the City of Jackson announced the East County Line Road Resurfacing Project at a public event in Ridgeland on April 5. County Line Road lies at the border of the City of Ridgeland and Madison County and the City of Jackson. The roadway will be resurfaced from I-55 to Pear Orchard Road.

By Interlocal Agreement with the City of Jackson, the City of Ridgeland will manage the project, conforming to Ridgeland’s design and construction standards. Jackson and Ridgeland will share the cost of the project 50/50, with the Madison County Board of Supervisors pledging $675,000 for Ridgeland’s portion of the project. The City of Jackson has secured the other $675,000 for the project through general funds. The project is valued at $1.35 million.

Mayor Gene McGee said, “County Line Road is very important to the City of Ridgeland, and I am excited that Ridgeland with the help of Madison County and the City of Jackson are moving forward with this project. This is a perfect example of cities and counties working together to improve our transportation system.”

Officials from both cities and from Madison County were in attendance at the project announcement event held in Ridgeland at North Regency Square Shopping Center, 900 E. County Line Road.

Resurfacing of County Line Road from I-55 to Pear Orchard Road will begin in April, and it will be performed by City of Ridgeland term bid contractors. Project work is expected to be completed in two months.


Ridgeland Public Works Director Mike McCollum, Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber, Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee, Jackson Public Works Director Jerriot Smash at the joint project announcement of E. County Line Road Resurfacing.

Mayor Gene McGee speaks to a group of interested citizens and officials at the Project Announcement for E. County Line Road Resurfacing Project.

Municipal Elections

City of Ridgeland, Mississippi Qualified Candidate List for 2017

Municipal elections will take place this spring throughout Mississippi. Take advantage of your right to vote in the City of Ridgeland elections. This level of government is closest to you! And, your vote means a lot in a municipal election when the number of votes cast are small.

Primary Election Day is May 2. Primary Runoff Election will be held on May 16, and General Election Day is June 6. Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on each occurring Election Day. Only municipal elections are taking place in 2017 in Mississippi. You may view an Elections Chart at for more information.

Please refer to the Ward Map to find your ward and voting location. You may click on the map and zoom in to find your street.

Register to vote with extended hours

You may register to vote throughout the year during regular office hours at Ridgeland City Hall. In a municipal election year, the hours to register are extended on certain dates in order to better accommodate more schedules. On March 27 – 31, city hall will be open until 7 p.m.

The deadline to register to vote for the municipal primary election and primary runoff election is 12 p.m. on April 1. City Hall will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Mail-in registration applications must be postmarked no later than April 1.

Absentee voting information

Absentee ballot applications will be available on March 3. In-person absentee voting in the Primary Election has a deadline of April 29 at 12 p.m. City Hall will be open 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. for voting. Absentee ballot by mail deadline is 5 p.m. on May 1. This is an actual receipt deadline.

Absentee voting deadline for the Primary Runoff Election is 12 p.m. on May 13 for in-person voting. City Hall will be open 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Absentee voting for ballot by mail has a deadline of 5 p.m. May 14.

If you have any questions, please contact Municipal Clerk Ina Byrd at 601-856-7113. See you at the polls!

New Bicycle Safety Signs Raise Awareness on the Natchez Trace Parkway

TUPELO, MS:  Lush deep shade and a gently curving scenic road are two landscape features that make the Natchez Trace Parkway (Parkway) a pleasant recreational route for both motorists and bicyclists. Those features that make traveling the Parkway enjoyable can sometimes reduce visibility for both drivers and bicyclists.  New signs, funded through the Natchez Trace Parkway Association (Association) Gary Holdiness Cycling Fund, will raise motorist awareness and remind drivers that bicycles, as well as other motor vehicles, use the Parkway. 

“The Parkway is a very popular tour route for all levels of bicyclists. We are counting on the new signs to alert motorists that there may be a bicyclist obscured by deep shade or riding around the next curve,” said Superintendent Mary Risser.

Two types of signs will be installed over the entire length of the Parkway. One is to alert motorists that the Parkway is a designated bicycle route, while the other is a reminder that cyclists are entitled to use one full lane. In some areas, signs instruct drivers to change lanes to pass bicyclists; however, drivers should never change lanes when the view of oncoming traffic is limited.

This project is one in a series of the Association’s “BE SAFE, BE SEEN” campaign to promote bicycle safety along the Parkway. Last winter, the Association and park rangers joined together to provide increased bicyclist visibility by distributing free bicycle safety lights and vests. The light kits, high visibility vests, and these new signs were all donated through the Gary Holdiness Cycling Fund established in the memory of Dr. Gary Holdiness, an avid bicyclist.

For more information about the Association and the Gary Holdiness Cycling Fund, please visit For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway please visit  or call (800) 305-7417.  


 About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at