What’s Working: The Ross Barnett Reservoir

Looking a for great place to watch the fireworks this Summer?  You might want to point to family car to the Ross Barnett Reservoir this coming Saturday.

A spectacular fireworks show is just one of the many ways Mississippians can enjoy the Rez.

It’s the number one recreational destination in all of Mississippi, and why not?  The Rez is overflowing with picturesque views. A sportsman’s paradise, but boating, fishing and fun only scratch its glassy surface. The city of Jackson helped build the Rez, half a century ago, and that’s how the Capital City gets most of its water today.

John Sigman is the General Manager for the Ross Barnett Reservoir.

He explains, ” A great investment. They paid a half a million dollars a year for some 28 years and down they have a water supply managed by a state agency in in perpetuity, for which they pay no additional money.”

So how does the Rez stay afloat after all these years? Lease holder funds, about 6 thousand of them. That’s the revenue steam.

Bobby Cleveland is the Public Liaison for the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District.

He laments, “The problem that we are facing now, is we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary, and the lake is 50 years old, but then again so is our infrastructure, some of our boat ramps, where we put in today, we need to do some work there.”

But make no mistake about it, the Rez is magnificent. Developments that stopped during the recession are back underway. The future is bright. You should really see for yourself.

Bobby explains, “It’s so great that I decided just to move out here 30 years ago and I’ve been here ever since.”

34,000 acres of water. 5,000 acres of commercial development and roughly 12,000 acres of the wildest hunting you’ll find anywhere. This Saturday (6-27-15) night get ready to see the skies light up!

John Sigman says, ” We’ll have 10-12 thousand people in the parks, we’ll have a dual fireworks show. It’s the best fireworks show around anywhere in my opinion.” The best advice is to get their early. You’ll be glad you did.”

Old Trace and Lake Shore parks both open to the public at 4 p.m. this Saturday. Admission is free. The fireworks show is set to launch at 9:00 p.m. Food vendors and beer gardens will be in both parks.

More information is available at barnettreservoirfoundation.org.

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