3 On Your Side Investigates: Washed Out at the Reservoir - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3 On Your Side Investigates: Washed Out at the Reservoir

Rapids on the Reservoir (Source: WLBT) Rapids on the Reservoir (Source: WLBT)
Rapids on the Reservoir in 1983 (Source: WLBT) Rapids on the Reservoir in 1983 (Source: WLBT)
Rapids on the Reservoir site today (Source: WLBT) Rapids on the Reservoir site today (Source: WLBT)
The Dock in 2004 (Source: WLBT) The Dock in 2004 (Source: WLBT)
Dismantling The Dock in 2004 (Source: WLBT) Dismantling The Dock in 2004 (Source: WLBT)
ROSS BARNETT RESERVOIR, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

When it opened in June of 1984, Rapids on the Reservoir was the hot new water park in town where scores of families and kids kept cool in the summer sun.

Located on Spillway Road on the Rankin County side of the Ross Barnett Reservoir, it lasted more than 20 years until it closed for good after the 2007 season. It sat in disrepair for a while. 

Condominiums and then an apartment complex were proposed at one point, but some reservoir residents -- and the economy -- objected. 

Today, the parking lot is still visible, but the water park itself is a manicured, green, vacant lot.

"The property is now in the hands of the bank that was the mortgager at the time," says John Sigman, general manager of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (PRVWSD), which oversees the Reservoir and the surrounding area. "It is my understanding the bank does have some active interest in terms of assisted-living and retirement home type situation. There have been proposals over the years for a number of different things that have fallen by the wayside, but this is the most current one that seems to be a alive."

Not far from the Rapids site is where The Dock used to sit, on the water near Main Harbor Marina. For years, The Dock served food during the day and drinks at night. It often filled up on weekends after the crowds in Jackson had to find a new place to go when bars there closed at midnight.

"The Dock had its own unique personality," Sigman says. 

It was closed in 2004 and was later dismantled to make way for an elaborate mixed-use development called Harbor Walk, that has yet to materialize.

"The plan for the Harbor Walk development is still ongoing," Sigman says. "You haven't seen any activity in the last year or so, and we don't know when we will, but the people that lease that property do consistently make their lease payments on time."

So if there won't be another Rapids, and there won't be another Dock, what is next for the Reservoir?

There's plenty of property, and lots of water. That will largely be determined by the people who live there.

Much of what happens in and around the reservoir is done by committee -- namely, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, which operates much like its own small town. The district has a long-range plan that doesn't necessarily call for commercial pursuits with a regional draw.

"In our master plan three years ago, we ran some citizen surveys and asked what type of businesses and recreation interests they would like to see here," Sigman says. "Water parks didn't get one vote."

What Reservoir residents said they do want is restaurants, outdoor-equipment stores, walking trails -- things that make it even more attractive to live there. Sigman says more trails are built as money allows, but there are no major developments on the drawing board.

The center of his attention is the Reservoir itself.

"We have a large number of visitors, and any given day there are hundreds of people using the lake that don't live here," he says. "We also have about 17,000 that live on the property, and they would not be living here, frankly, if it wasn't for that nice, pretty lake out there that we spend a lot of time keeping that way."

On Wednesday, November 2, the PRVWSD formally opens an expansion of the Timberlake Campground off North Shore Parkway. They've added more than two dozen new RV sites and a new bath house.

Copyright 2016 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • breaking

    Shooting suspect detained at IN school; 2 hurt

    Shooting suspect detained at IN school; 2 hurt

    Friday, May 25 2018 9:40 AM EDT2018-05-25 13:40:34 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 10:16 AM EDT2018-05-25 14:16:58 GMT

    Two people have been injured.

    More >>

    Two people have been injured.

    More >>
  • Meet the student whose picture walking to graduation gained nationwide attention

    Meet the student whose picture walking to graduation gained nationwide attention

    Thursday, May 24 2018 7:09 PM EDT2018-05-24 23:09:14 GMT
    (Source: WBRC Video)(Source: WBRC Video)

    A picture is worth a thousand word, but one picture captured by a MAX bus driver captured tells a story of determination.

    More >>

    A picture is worth a thousand word, but one picture captured by a MAX bus driver captured tells a story of determination.

    More >>
  • Harvey Weinstein arraigned on rape, criminal sex act charges

    Harvey Weinstein arraigned on rape, criminal sex act charges

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 04:22:30 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 10:20 AM EDT2018-05-25 14:20:00 GMT
    (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly