Mayor's Report

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.

Jan 04

2018-2019 Mayor's General Update

Posted on January 4, 2019 at 12:32 PM by Darren Musselwhite

What’s happening in Southaven?


Street Resurfacing…$4 million completed in 2018 (most in City history)

Drainage Improvement…3 major projects that have caused flooding for more than a decade were completed in 2018 at Whitworth parallel to Main Street, Whitworth near Highway 51, and Stonehedge residential subdivision costing approximately $500,000 total

Getwell South Widening Project…a federally-funded $8.7 million project to widen Getwell Road to five lanes from Church Road south to Starlanding Road with a median and pedestrian paths pending four-years planning with projected construction in late 2019 or early 2020

Central/Snowden Grove Parks Multi-Use Trail…eight-year pending project moving dirt in the spring of 2019 connecting these two major parks with a 10-foot pedestrian trail routing south on Tchulahoma Road, east on Central Parkway, and north on Getwell Road to the park entrance

Main Street Pedestrian Project…sidewalks from Highway 51 along Main Street to Saucier Park on Northwest Drive starting construction in the spring of 2019

Snowden Grove Pedestrian Project…a federally-funded project to add a 10-foot multi-use trail throughout Snowden Grove Park under construction in late 2019


Silo Square…a $200 million 228-acre mixed-use development with a town square and pedestrian paths was planned and approved in 2018 with construction to begin in early 2019

Metropolitan Business District…a new business district created and defined in 2018 for the Church Road/I-55 area to incentivize and bring quality commercial development for this high-profile area

Hilton Embassy Suites…developers completing planning stages of this 2-year planned/pending project to bring a $40 million luxury hotel to the Metropolitan Business District

Industrial Development…1,370,000 square feet of new facility space for manufacturing and distribution adding $18 million in property value and 625 new jobs in 2018

Service, Retail, and Other Business…251 new businesses opened in 2018 creating 3,819 new jobs

New Building Permits…358 new residential permits issued in 2018 for a total value of $49,594,000 in new construction as well as 16 new commercial permits with a value of $7,345,575 (excluding industrial)


Tennis Pro Shop…$770,000 renovation of the old metal building constructed in the 1970s into a beautiful facility housing equipment, dressing rooms, concessions, office, and covered seating completed in 2018 to complement the 8-court expansion previously completed in 2017

Volleyball…City’s first-ever operation with 110 girls competing in the inaugural 2018 season

Arena Floor-Leveling…$500,000 project to level the oval section of the floor which will make the facility more versatile for multi-purpose events in addition to the volleyball operation with construction to begin in early 2019

Greenbrook Indoor Softball Facility…7,800 square-foot facility to be built near the main entrance to Greenbrook Park that will house four hitting/pitching tunnels with removable nets for a large multi-purpose training area, offices, concessions, bathrooms, and general assembly area to be bid and under construction in the spring of 2019

Field of Dreams Playground…$448,400 special-needs playground to be constructed in early 2019 adjacent to the Field of Dreams baseball field near the south entrance of Snowden Grove Park

Springfest BBQ/BankPlus Amphitheater Paved & Landscaped Parking Lot…a paving and landscaping project to eliminate the nuisance of mud and poor drainage which will also beautify this area and serve a dual purpose for additional concert parking projected to cost approximately $1,000,000 with construction beginning immediately after the 2019 Springfest event ends in late April

Soccer Expansion…a project currently being designed to add 8 new fields with bathroom/concession pavilion to property just north of the bowling alley at Pine Tar Alley/Snowden Lane which will complement the 5 existing fields on Stateline Road West to bring more participation and use for all with bidding and construction to begin in mid-2019


Highway 51 Intersection Modernization Project…a $609,037 project to remove the old span-wire traffic signals and replace with beautiful mast arms with signals that have modern traffic communication and pedestrian capabilities to be completed in mid-2019

City Hall Renovation…a $1.7 million project to renovate one of the oldest commercial buildings in Southaven which will improve the safety of many City employees, improve the City’s marketing image, and add to the revitalization attractiveness of the original business district currently being designed with construction to begin in mid-2019

Main Street Decorative Light Poles…a project to remove many old, cluttered light poles on Main Street between Highway 51 and Northwest Drive and replace with beautiful two-headed decorative poles which will provide better lighting and, along with the Main Street Pedestrian Project, improve revitalization attractiveness in our original business district currently being designed by Entergy with construction to begin in mid-2019

Greenbrook/Stateline Median Landscaping Project…a project to remove poorly-grown crape myrtle trees and add new landscaping to improve the look of one of our original residential neighborhood entrances and projected to be completed in the spring of 2019

Monument Signs for City Entrances and High-Profile Intersections…a project to add beautiful, brick-based signs with landscape lighting on I-55 and other intersections to beautify our city and improve our economic attractiveness with bidding and construction to begin in the spring of 2019

Community Pride Awards & Adopt-a-Spot Beautification Program…two new programs to award private property owners for their exceptional efforts to beautify their properties and volunteer to beautify common areas of residential subdivisions which improves property values and the economic attractiveness of our city


Police West Precinct…a retro-fit project of the old WIN Job Center building at Highway 51 and Dorchester Drive to improve our Police operation and add more key presence along Highway 51 completed and occupied in 2018

Fire Station #5…land has been secured for this long-planned project adjacent to the curve on Starlanding Road just west of Getwell for construction of a new fire station in 2020 to improve protection to the Southeastern part of our city and maintain our excellent “Class 3” fire rating

Fire Hydrant Expansion in Annexed Areas…Phase 5 of 6 of a $7.4 million project currently underway along Malone Road to increase the size of water lines to meet Southaven’s fire hydrant standard and improve fire protection  


No Property Tax Millage Increases...Southaven continues to be the largest municipality in Desoto County but only the 4th highest taxing entity of  the 7 total.

No Utility Rate Increases

Growing Sales Tax Revenue…$14,789,168 revenue in 2018 shows an excellent growth trend up from $12,499,170 in 2013

Government Finance Officers Association Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting (3rd consecutive year)…a prestigious award given only to about 5% of approximately 89,000 cities/counties nationwide for going beyond typical accounting procedures to improve governmental financial transparency

Net Reserve Increase (Unassigned Fund Balance)…$7,752,000 after Fiscal Year ’17 audit completed in 2018 (up from $2.4 million in 2012)



Dec 21

Field of Dreams Playground

Posted on December 21, 2018 at 1:16 PM by Melitta Duncan

Recently, the Board of Aldermen awarded lowest and best bids to Southern Recreation, LLC in the amount of $300,000 and Southern States Construction in the amount of $148,400 for construction of our new special-needs playground and site preparation, respectively.

Our special-needs playground will be constructed adjacent to the Field of Dreams baseball field located at the southern entrance to Snowden Grove Park at Nail Road and Snowden Lane.    This “state-of-the-art” facility offers the most modern features and will be enjoyed by so many children while adding options and convenience to our current special-needs field.

This project is part of the City’s “Parks Enhancement and Expansion Plan” that was revised and approved by our Board of Aldermen earlier this year.  As our plan develops, the City’s goal is to diversify our Parks program to appeal to the interests of more of our citizens.  In recent years and in addition to the traditional baseball, softball, football, and cheerleading options for youth, we have added the “Forever Young Senior Center”, BankPlus Amphitheater stage enclosure, tennis expansion, and our city’s first volleyball program.  The current plan also includes paving and landscaping the Springfest area, soccer expansion, floor-leveling at the Arena for versatility of use, and a running track at Central Park, which should all be completed within the next two years.

This $448,400 expenditure is funded by tourism taxes (1% hotel, 1% restaurant) for which revenue is mandated by state law to only be spent for parks, recreational, and tourism promotion.  Parks and recreational options are very important for any city because, whether or not a citizen directly uses them, they, much like school systems, benefit all citizens by improving the economic attractiveness of a city.  Since many individuals are attracted to these options, businesses are also attracted for their employees and families, which leads to job creation and development, further resulting in tax stability for all property owners and revenue that may be spent to improve all municipal services for citizens.

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