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Ridgeland Mississippi News

Mayor McGee Announces Passage of National Parks Resolution

The City of Ridgeland passed a resolution today honoring America’s National Park System and its 100th anniversary.

The resolution asks Congress to adequately fund the National Park Service (NPS).

In light of a history of congressional underfunding, the resolution calls on Congress to create a reliable and predictable stream of resources to help the NPS address deferred maintenance at its more than 400 sites.

The backlog affects visitor services and repairs to park infrastructure at these sites, which span 84 million acres across all 50 states. It also affects Mississippi’s eight national parks and 43 natural and historic landmarks and monuments, which generate over $198 million in economic benefits each year.

There is more than $308 million in deferred maintenance at national parks in Mississippi, including $11 million to critical systems like the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Natchez National Historic Park, the Natchez Trace Parkway, Shiloh National Military Park, and Vicksburg National Military Park.

“The Natchez Trace Parkway route runs through the very heart of our city,” said Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee. “Thousands of our residents use the Trace walking trails and cycle up and down the Trace from the Old Visitors Center location.  Our city enjoys a great network of bike trails that are enhanced by the Natchez Trace.  We encourage Congress to come together in a bipartisan agreement to fund the deferred maintenance along the Natchez Trace and in the other parks in our state and across our nation—doing so will support an important economic engine for Mississippi.”

Under Mayor McGee’s leadership, Ridgeland has been named a Bicycle Friendly Community, Tree City USA, and has received multiple awards for its parks. The Mayor also has plans for a City Center and expansion of the Ridgeland Multiuse Trail.

Tupelo and Vicksburg have also passed similar resolutions.

Download PDF of the resolution.

 

 

City of Ridgeland Reports on Progress of Lake Harbour Drive Extension

Take a drive over to the intersection of Lake Harbour Drive and Highway 51, and you will see piles of broken concrete. It’s not an attractive sight to the eye, but to Ridgeland city officials it means that a long-awaited road project is moving forward.

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The construction of Lake Harbour Drive Extension is moving forward as can be seen from the demolition of concrete slabs. Commercial buildings once stood in this location at the intersection with Highway 51 in Ridgeland. This City of Ridgeland road project will improve travel in and through Ridgeland.

Demolition of buildings in the project area began this past spring. Now, demolition of the former businesses’ concrete slabs is underway. It is the next step in the construction project of Lake Harbour Drive Extension, a new roadway that will provide an east-west corridor that connects Madison and Rankin Counties. The extension of Lake Harbour Drive will permit motorists to travel from Highway 51, the current endpoint of Lake Harbour Drive, across the Illinois Central Railroad and over I-55 to Highland Colony Parkway.

According to city officials, this is a large and complex project that includes an at-grade railroad crossing, culvert replacement, multiple utility relocations, connection to a state highway, and an interstate bridge. City officials have found ways to save money on the project in spite of its complexity.

“For example,” said Chris Bryson, city engineer, “the contractor for the concrete demolition and removal, Hemphill Construction, will be salvaging the crushed concrete for their own use. Because of this, they are not charging the city for their work. What would have cost as much as $160,000 is costing the city $0.”

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Piles of concrete at the Lake Harbour Drive Extension construction site will be salvaged by Hemphill Construction for their own use. This agreement with Hemphill saves the City of Ridgeland at least $160,000 on the overall cost of the project. Highway 51 can be viewed in the background.

After the concrete is cleared from the site, the city will be working with a contractor to replace the 100-year old Illinois Central box culvert which passes Purple Creek under the railroad track. “The new roadway will cross the Illinois Central Railroad at grade,” said Bryson, “similar to the crossing on Jackson Street in Ridgeland.”

 

Utility poles as well as underground gas lines including a major interstate gas transmission line, Gulf South Pipeline, will need to be moved to make room for the new roadway. Bryson anticipates that utility relocation and box culvert replacement will be the next construction items completed.

For more information about the Lake Harbour Drive Extension project, please call Chris Bryson at 601-853-2027 or Mayor Gene McGee at 601-856-7113. For more information about the City of Ridgeland, visit www.RidgelandMS.org.

PDF of news release:city-of-ridgeland-reports-on-progress-of-lake-harbour-drive-extension

Ridgeland Life Magazine Fall 2016

RidgelandLife_Fall2016 1Read Ridgeland Life Fall 2016 and get caught up on city news, learn about upcoming community events, and view the fall lineup of recreation and parks programs. Also, don’t miss news from local schools, the public library and the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce!

If you are interested in advertising in Ridgeland Life, please contact our Sponsorship Coordinator, Julie Cox, at 601-853-2011. For information about Ridgeland Life, contact Sandra Monohan at 601-856-7113.

 

History Brochure Unveiled

The Historical Society of Ridgeland recently presented a new brochure, "Travel in Time", to the public at a recent Mayor and Board of Aldermen Work Session. The brochure was produced by the Society with the City of Ridgeland and the Ridgeland Tourism Commission. It serves as a historical record and guidebook to Ridgeland's history. Copies are available at Ridgeland City Hall, Ridgeland Tourism Commission, Ridgeland Public Library, and the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce.

The Historical Society of Ridgeland recently presented a new brochure, “Travel in Time”, to the public at a recent Mayor and Board of Aldermen Work Session. The Society partnered with Ridgeland Tourism Commission and the City of Ridgeland to produce the brochure which serves as a historical record and guidebook to Ridgeland’s history. Copies are available at Ridgeland City Hall, Ridgeland Tourism Commission, Ridgeland Public Library, and the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce. Pictured, from left: City Planner Matt Dodd; Donna Dye, Historical Society Officer; Pat Truesdale, Historical Society President; Nancy Batson, Historical Society Vice-President; and Mayor Gene McGee.

Ridgeland Awarded Healthy Heroes Grant

Ridgeland Healthy Heroes 06

Ridgeland Police Officers received training through the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation for the Healthy Heroes initiative in Ridgeland. A team of officers will serve as Healthy Heroes at Ann Smith and Highland Elementary Schools, teaching K-5th grade students about healthy eating and fitness. This initiative is funded by a grant from the Foundation. Pictured, from left: Officer Brice Berry, Officer Noell Bass, Officer Scott Young, Blue Cross & Blue Shield Executive Director Sheila Grogan, Officer Ricky Bracey, Officer Daniel Stevens, and Officer Gerald West.

The City of Ridgeland will soon be sending Healthy Heroes, a team of Ridgeland Police Officers trained to conduct health education, into Ann Smith and Highland Elementary Schools. This initiative, the Ridgeland Healthy Heroes, is made possible by a grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. Ridgeland Healthy Heroes also includes education and encouragement of healthy lifestyles for Ridgeland’s sworn officers.

In a letter dated Aug. 15, 2016, the City of Ridgeland was notified that a grant application for a Ridgeland Healthy Heroes program had been approved by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation Board of Directors. The grant award for $14,400 will be used to implement a kindergarten through 5th-grade health education program by the City of Ridgeland, utilizing police officers as the instructors and role models.

“When children have positive role models who exercise and choose nutritious foods, it encourages them to follow suit,” said Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal. “Our goal is to enhance the health of Ridgeland’s children, while also encouraging a healthier police force.”

“This is an exciting and unique opportunity for the Ridgeland Police Department to extend their role as community leaders,” said Sheila Grogan, Executive Director of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. “Uniformed police officers teaching healthy eating lessons and leading fun fitness activities will encourage children to adopt lifestyles of health and wellness that will carry them beyond their elementary school years.”

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Ridgeland Police Officer Ricky Bracey shows some of the educational materials he will be using for the Ridgeland Healthy Heroes initiative. Uniformed Ridgeland Police Officers will serve as Healthy Heroes at Ann Smith and Highland Elementary Schools, teaching K-5th grade students about healthy eating and fitness. This initiative is funded by a grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. The Ridgeland Healthy Heroes team also includes Officers Noell Bass, Brice Berry, Daniel Stevens, Gerald West, and Scott Young.

The following Ridgeland Police Officers will represent the City of Ridgeland as Healthy Heroes: Noell Bass, Brice Berry, Ricky Bracey, Daniel Stevens, Gerald West, and Scott Young.

The project will be led by School Resource Officer Scott Young who is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Nutrition and fitness education will be provided for the Ridgeland Police Department. Officers will be encouraged to get biometric screenings and to improve their scores over time through exercise and nutrition.

Training for the Healthy Heroes was hosted by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation on August 24. Representatives from the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Healthy Schools provided training as to how to teach healthy eating and exercise lessons to students in grades K-5. Best practices were presented by Sergeant Doug Dickerson with the Laurel Police Department. The City of Laurel, Mississippi created the Healthy Heroes initiative in partnership with the Foundation in 2014 and implemented their program in the Laurel School District.

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Ridgeland Police Officers will be leading fun exercises while serving as Healthy Heroes at Ann Smith and Highland Elementary Schools during the 2016-2017 school year. Ridgeland Healthy Heroes, an initiative to instruct elementary students in fitness and healthy eating, is funded by a grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. Pictured, from left: Officer Noell Bass, Officer Scott Young, Officer Brice Berry, Officer Daniel Stevens, and Officer Ricky Bracey. Not pictured – Officer Gerald West.

Grant funds will allow the City of Ridgeland to purchase fitness games and equipment and nutrition education materials for Ann Smith and Highland Elementary Schools. A biometric scale and educational materials will be purchased for the Ridgeland Police Department. Funds will also be used to reinvigorate a teaching vegetable garden at Highland Elementary through the expertise of Ridgeland Police Officer Daniel Stevens.

For more information about Ridgeland Healthy Heroes, contact Scott Young at Scott.Young@Ridgelandms.org or by calling 601-856-2121.

 

Ridgeland Police Launch Facebook Page

The Ridgeland Police Department recently launched a Facebook page to provide an additional means of communicating with the citizens of Ridgeland. The public is invited to like the page which seeks to inform citizens about police department activities, alert citizens of traffic and crime-related issues, and interact with followers.The page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/RidgelandPoliceDepartment/?fref=ts.

“The nationwide trend for law enforcement agencies to utilize nontraditional methods for fighting crime and providing information to the public can be handled through Facebook,” said Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal. “As we researched the best practices for our page, the department organizers who spearheaded the project reached out to various law enforcement agencies around the nation to see what has been working for them. As we designed the page, it was important to push our image of being community-based and transparent.”

An important function of the page, according to its organizers, is combating crime since an exchange of information with the police department can take place through the page. “We are using our Facebook page as a tool in our crime-fighting efforts,” said Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal. ”It allows the community to provide information to us through a popular social media outlet. We encourage our residents that can, to provide assistance to us.”

Neal added, “We will make efforts to reach our citizens in a timely manner with events which affect the community and provide a broader sense of transparency within the department. Our followers will be made aware of incidents which affect their normal routines.” Thus, the Ridgeland Police Department will use Facebook to bring important and timely information to followers.

Facebook users may expect to see an assortment of posts, including officer recognition. “The good work being performed by the men and women of the Ridgeland Police Department deserves to be spotlighted,” said Neal.

Ridgeland Police aim to share a lighter side of the department with the public through Facebook. Neal said, “We will include a little humor to remind residents that the officers who are serving and protecting are normal people performing a difficult job.”

For users’ convenience, the Facebook page “About” section provides a directory of phone numbers within the police department. The Ridgeland Police Department reserves the right to delete comments for any reason. For more information about the Ridgeland Police Department Facebook page, call Chief John Neal at 601-856-2121.

Facebook RPD

Miss Mississippi Upper Elementary 2017 Presented with Proclamation

BrethreimNatalie Bretheim was presented with a proclamation from the Mayor for being crowned Miss Mississippi Upper Elementary 2017. Miss Bretheim is a 6th grader at Olde Towne Middle School. The presentation occurred at the August 16 Mayor and Board of Aldermen Meeting at Ridgeland City Hall. View the Natalie Bretheim Proclamation.

Alderman Scott Jones Recognized as Professional CMO Graduate

Alderman Scott Jones was recognized at a recent Mayor and Board of Aldermen Meeting for attaining designation as Professional Certified Municipal Official. The Certified Municipal Officials program offered by the Mississippi Municipal League is a voluntary program that utilizes existing opportunities such as conferences and special meetings along with specially crafted courses to provide meaningful, informative, and useful information on topics that will expand the elected official’s knowledge and capabilities.

Alderman Scott Jones was recognized at a recent Mayor and Board of Aldermen Meeting for graduating from the MML’s Certified Municipal Official Professional Development Program. Attaining Professional CMO is an honor and an accomplishment for elected officials.The Certified Municipal Officials program offered by the Mississippi Municipal League is a voluntary program that utilizes specially crafted courses to provide meaningful, informative, and useful information on topics that will expand the elected official’s knowledge and capabilities.

August eNewsletter

Download the eNewsletter: August 2016. Sign up to receive emails from the city at the top right corner of our website!
Aug 2016

Volunteer as an Interpretive Park Ranger

The Natchez Trace Parkway is seeking volunteers to work at the Parkway Information Cabin in Ridgeland and within the park. Please contact our local park ranger if interested. See Park Volunteer Flyer for more information.

Park Volunteer Flyer