Mayor's Report

Mar 19


Posted on March 19, 2019 at 9:00 AM by Melitta Duncan

Southaven has always been such a great place to live from back in the days when we were a small community when I was a kid until now when we are one of the largest and most economically-thriving cities in our state. Even so, we are nowhere close to our potential yet and can improve in so many ways. With my previous careers, I got the chance to travel to many cities, large and small, around our country and compare Southaven from the outside. One thing I’ve noticed is that we can do better showing the pride we have in our city. Beautification of a city may seem like a low priority for some, but it leads to so much more. It makes a bold statement and first impression that lasts for those that visit and consider moving their families and businesses here. It truly makes us more economically attractive and will pay huge dividends in our future. We are the third-largest city and northern gateway to Mississippi. We need to make that great first impression!

Our Board of Aldermen has supported a detailed beautification plan that started in 2013. One of these projects that has been underway since 2015 and overcome many challenges is placing beautiful, brick-based monument signs at high-profile city entrance locations and intersections. We have now acquired proper easements from MDOT and completed a beautiful design for the signs from UrbanArch Associates architectural firm. 

The first two signs will be under construction within 45 days by F & F Construction who was the lowest bidder. The first location will be the southwest corner of I-55/Main Street which will have a rounded design for that corner. The second location will be on the west side of I-55 just north of Star Landing Road angled towards the northbound traffic for a grand city entrance for our southern border. Both signs will have landscape lighting to add to the appearance at night. 

Future locations to be completed in subsequent budget years are Highway 51/Star Landing, I-55/Church, and Goodman/Getwell.

Feb 26

Fire Service Extension Project for Annexed Areas

Posted on February 26, 2019 at 10:11 AM by Melitta Duncan

Annexation can be controversial, but it should be beneficial for both the annexed area and the annexing municipality.  One of these benefits is improved fire protection as commonly many rural volunteer fire departments do not have the resources, response times, water capacity, and overall ratings that city departments have.  For example, Southaven is rated a “Class 3” by the Mississippi State Rating Bureau (1-10 rating scale with lower being better).  There are only 4 other departments in the state out of a total 757 fire districts that have a rating this high.  Gulfport is the only one that has a better rating than Southaven at a “Class 2”.  We expect to improve to this "2” rating as well when our Fire Station #5 is constructed in 2020.  Obviously, public safety is the #1 benefit of receiving primary response from an excellent city fire department, but also with this comes significantly-lower property insurance premiums for many areas.

In years past, prior to the current City administration, several areas were annexed by the City of Southaven.  Shortly after our Board of Aldermen and I went to work for the City, it was brought to my attention by our Fire Chief and Utilities Director that these one-time rural areas did not have water lines as large as the rest of our city.  To maximize the potential of our modern fire pumpers, these areas needed fire hydrants and water lines large enough to provide adequate water capacity.  This became a priority to fulfill our obligation to these new areas of our city and replace all 4” lines with 12” lines.

After mapping, designing, and allocating adequate funding for the project, the first phase went under construction in 2017.  Phase 1 was completed in 2018 which included areas on Church, Starlanding, and Swinnea roads as well as installing new lines to cross Horn Lake Creek on the northwestern end of our city.  Phase 2 began in late 2018 and is currently under construction for areas along Malone road.  The third and final phase will change lines servicing the northwestern end of our city near and including the Grandview Lakes subdivision with expected completion in 2020.

This entire project was budgeted to cost approximately $7 million and is being funded without debt by surpluses in our Utilities Fund planned exactly for projects like this and other emergency water and sewer infrastructure needs.

Fire Extension 1
Fire Extension 2

Jan 25

Stateline Road West/Horn Lake Creek Bridge Repair

Posted on January 25, 2019 at 3:37 PM by Darren Musselwhite

In the 2018 Extraordinary Session last summer, the Mississippi State Legislature established the Emergency Road and Bridge Repair Fund (ERBRF) after recognizing the significance that transportation infrastructure has on the State’s economy and citizens’ mobility.  This was long overdue as our state has missed many economic opportunities in the past by failing to spend the money necessary to meet the demands of new business prospects that can bring exponential financial benefits.  I applaud and thank our legislators for recognizing this and doing something about it.

The City of Southaven is faced with the major problem of repairing this bridge on Stateline Road over Horn Lake Creek and made application for funding assistance with the ERBRF.  This bridge is not unsafe to drive on at this time, but must be repaired soon to prevent any future danger to public safety. I am excited to announce that our application was approved and we will receive $1,989,500 to help us with a total projected repair cost of $2.4 million.  The attached link shows all of the approved projects throughout the state that will be funded with the total $250 million program:

http://mdot.ms.gov/portal/erbrf/documents/ERBRF Awarded Projects.pdf

On behalf of the City of Southaven, I’ve expressed my appreciation to MDOT and Commissioner Mike Tagert for their recognition of our needs and importance to the State’s economy.  These funds will allow the availability of other funding mechanisms to be used for other needed transportation improvement projects within our city.