Friday, April 17, 2015

PRVWSD to implement lake user fees.

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District issued the following statement:

Barnett Reservoir Board passes lake user fee

RIDGELAND — Beginning Oct. 1 2015, boaters on Ross Barnett Reservoir will be required to pay
a lake user fee under a plan passed Thursday by the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Board of Directors.

According to Board President Jack Winstead, all funds raised from the user fee will be directed to a
special revenue fund and be used only for recreational enhancements on the aging lake.

“Ross Barnett Reservoir is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and while we celebrate this milestone
we must also realize that a lot of infrastructure is aging and in need of renovation or repair,” Winstead
said. “To this point, our leaseholders have shouldered all the financial burden, but under this plan all lake users will contribute to maintaining and improving our facilities.”

It is estimated that about 30,000 boats are registered within the five counties that surround Barnett
Reservoir — Hinds, Leake, Madison, Rankin, and Scott counties. PRVWSD officials estimate that the lake user fee could generate about $250,000 to $300,000 annually.

These funds would be used to update boat ramps, increase or replace navigational aids and improve
shore support facilities. When possible, they can be matched with federal funding arranged through
cooperation with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

“Two good examples of what $250,000 can do are the recently completed projects at Fannin
Landing with a breakwater and new comfort station, and the renovation at Goshen Springs Landing on Mississippi Highway 43,” said John Sigman, PRVWSD general manger. “These were both $1 million projects that required a 25 percent match on our end.”

Winstead and Sigman both said stake holders and user groups would be involved in all aspects of
the planning of projects, and added that reservoir officials have discussed the lake user fee with several such groups and have found nearly universal support.

According to PRVWSD officials, boaters paying the lake user fee will be issued a decal to be
placed on the bow of the watercraft near the required State registration number and decal. Registrants
will have the option of purchasing an annual permit or a three-year permit. A shorter-term 10-day permit will also be available for visitors.

The fees rates are:
* Boats under 26 feet — $35 annual, $90 for three years.
* Boats 26 feet and above — $50 annual, $135 for three years.
* 10-day, any size, consecutive days — $10.
Decals will be good from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

The only vessels excluded from the user fees are paddleboards, sail boards, kayaks, canoes and approved towable devices, plus boats operated by law enforcement, fire/rescue, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and PRVWSD workboats.

Sigman said that registration would be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “That way, anybody anywhere who decides, even on the spur of the moment, that they want to fish or boat on Barnett Reservoir will have the opportunity to go online and pay, and our officers on the water will have access to the system to check and say, ‘Yes, you are good to go,’” Sigman said. “They then would receive their decals by mail.”

The Board’s action on Thursday begins a 30-day comment period. To find the proposed rule, visit

Comments may be sent to


Anonymous said...

Maybe they can finally finish Pelehatchie Shore Park.

but no, that'd be too damn close to right

Anonymous said...

What the heck, it is bad enough you have to pay to kill a gator, now you got to pay to cruise.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a great idea. I will gladly pay the $35.00. As a regular user of the lake it's very obvious that there are several projects this money can be used for.

Anonymous said...

Way past due

Anonymous said...

Lease holders should not have to pay any more then they already do.

Anonymous said...

God bless Feel Bryant and God bless America!

Anonymous said...

Agree 100% with @9:33. I'm no longer a leaseholder, but those who are pay thousands for their leasehold fee each year. They should be issued a free permit for each boat registered to them.

Anonymous said...

Questions for the former leaseholders. Were you required to pay taxes on the land too? Because as a non lease holder, I pay thousands for my taxes. And if I don't pay them, guess who comes and confiscates my property at a tax sale.

worm fisherman said...

I believe the 'permit' should be issued to the individual, rather than a permit for a boat. I have three small jon boats and use each of them in the reservoir. I can only use one at a time so not all three are using the 'resources'. If I understand this proposal, it would cost me 35x3.

I wonder if this will apply to tournament boats which, on some occasions, number hundreds over a several day period.

The fee should probably be more like 10 bucks. 35 is way to much for the guy who, like me, might fish the rez four or five times a year.

Lastly, just watch Sigman and his bunch redirect the pot of gold to other purposes using slight of hand and twisting definitions of the intended purpose. For example, improving the area where Burwell has parked his motor home for ten years, buying a new patrol boat, buying a new fleet of pickups to cruise the perimeter of the Rez. Just look how the intent of 'riverboat gaming' was twisted around. That will happen.

Anonymous said...

It's long overdue! In time, the leaseholders will be given free access. As a leaseholder (who no longer owns a boat) I pay thousands yearly for the privilege to live on/near the water and to maintain my property. The time to play, wear out and trash our waterways for for free has ended. There are plenty of private ponds for those who don't like it. Rest assured, violators will be reported by those who legally use our waters.

@9:59 said...

Yes, @6:20, leaseholders pay taxes as if they owned the land and an additional annual leasehold fee to the PRVWSD.

Anonymous said...

Other than crappie fishing that I see in the spring and/or if you know a professional that can take you to find bass, the lake generally sucks. Other than the smallish area by the damn, you have to stay in the channel or you risk ripping the bottom out of your boat. There are so many no wake zones that going up river is equally frustrating, And the officers hiding next to docks giving tickets to causal users for taking their kids life jackets off before they get off the boat is just assine. I sold my boat years ago and moved on. Pass.

Johnny Weir said...

6:24 AM Put your permit on magnetic tape (like magnetic business cards) and just attach to whatever boat you need to use. This great advice is free of charge.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic idea, these red neck who use the reservoir trash the hell out of it. Make'em pay double or even triple fees. Then maybe they throw their slop in Leflerr Bluff.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see some of the money go towards cleaning up the 'claims' on the Pearl. There are so many that stake 'claims' on sandbars of the river from the time warm weather starts till it end, I'd like to see the river patrolled more and these so called claims belongings removed every week. If the belongings are not come for in x number of days take them to the landfill.

Anonymous said...

Give the 55 plus crowd a discounted rate or waive the ticket. They don't deserve this. They aren't trashing the lake or going up the Pearl trashing up the sandbar and partying it up. They barely go - and when they do they don't want to have to pay even more money after all of these years to go and fish on the reservior.

Musty my $0.2 cents.

Anonymous said...

@2:00 pm - What you said my brother!!!

Anonymous said...

And if I don't pay them, guess who comes and confiscates my property at a tax sale.

Your property is not confiscated at a tax sale. Bogus.

With Bert Case upriver said...

An extra twenty will get you a slip on Eddie's Island.

Tired of The Bitchin' said...

You Fart-tards who constantly bitch about paying lease fees had an option when you were house-huntin'. If you chose to live there, tough shit. Quit the perpetual bitching.

Anonymous said...

@6:24 the federal govt. buys the boats and trucks for the patrol not the leaseholders directly. And I guarantee you that Sigman won't let the money go to anything else. On the last note some are saying their leases are thousands a year. My good friend built a $750,000.00 house in Arbor Landing and his lease is just $800.00 a year. And yes I do support the sticker fee. It will go towards a good cause as the PRVWSD does not get any money from the legislature.

Worm Fisherman said...

It would be a violation of law to put the decal on magnetic tape and move it from boat to boat. All laws addressing such 'stickers/decals' state 'permanently affixed' and state where exactly it must be affixed.

I take it the person who made this recommendation lives in Jacktown where this is the modus operandi for car tags.

Overtaxed Already said...

We're already paying annual fishing license fees and boat registration fees to the State, plus trailer tag fees. If we only fish the Reservoir and have already paid those annual fees, a way needs to be found for some of that to be redirected to the PRVWSD.

And don't tell me Sigman's bunch can't and won't find a way to tamper with this fund. What makes you think he won't? Chris Epps was long heralded as the most honest man in state government.

Anonymous said...

@7:51 all fishing/hunting license sales go to game and fish only. They too are a state agency who gets no money from the legislature. Their budget comes from license sales, campgrounds and state park fees and watercraft registration.All license plate sales go to the county where purchased and divided upon the cities in that county. Sigman and Epps are two different people. Sigman has been a manager of money his whole life(remember when he was a Colonel in the Army for the corps of engineers). Yes there are always those chances people take to dwindle sometimes but not Sigman. He is a truly honest person.

Overtaxed Already said...

1:31; I understand where the money goes. What I said was '...a way needs to be found for some of that to be redirected..'.

The point is that 'we' are already paying plenty of taxes to fish. A lot of that money went to construct the neat multi-million dollar state office building in the woods for the game and fish folks.

These agencies, regardless of funding, are empires, each having its own pecking order and hierarchy of politically oppointed or recommended employees. Whiners all. Of course since Sigman was a 'colonel in the army' he stands apart as 'a truly honest man'. Oliver North was a colonel in the army too.

Spinner Bait said...

Anonymous at 7:47 said, "I think it's a great idea. I will gladly pay the $35.00. As a regular user of the lake it's very obvious that there are several projects this money can be used for."

What did you have in mind when you said that?

Identify The Perps said...

Fishing along the banks of the Rez has gotten out of hand. Cantonians parked in the mud with twelve poles stuck in the bank, chicken boxes strewn about and worm boxes left to float against the's ridiculous.

I don't advocate outlawing it altogether since I have sometimes enjoyed casting a line from the bank myself. But there needs to be some rules and some control. These people have created mini-trash-dumps everywhere they go to hunker and spend the day.

It's not the job of the Interior Department (Trace Rangers) to enforce this madness. There are guilty parties and then there are the rest of us who will pay for their behavior. They don't own fishing boats.

Anonymous said...

@12:50 I do agree that some of that money needs to be directed to PRVWSD. Oliver North was a Lt. Colonel not a full bird Colonel

Anonymous said...

I wonder just how many people fishing below the spillway on a monday morning are disabled? If someone posed as a census taker and walked around asking questions, I bet that it would approach 90 percent. If you can walk down to the waters edge on unstable rocks, then are you truly disabled?

Trust No Agency Head said...

Sigman's military service, although not the point here at all, cannot be compared to that of Oliver North. Your constant harping that Sigman is honest since he was a military colonel is bullshit.

Notwithstanding the fact that Sigman 'earned' his rank as a member of the reserves (thank you for your service), most of us know that no agency head is above reproach when it comes to a pot of gold sitting in the office foyer.

Thank you in advance for future posts from the Sigman family.

(John was in the Army Reserves and served in Bosnia when his unit was called to duty. He retired from the reserves as a "full bird" colonel.)

Anonymous said...

"If you can walk down to the waters edge on unstable rocks, then are you truly disabled? "

That's an interesting question, but SSI/Disability determinations are usually based on the inability to perform any sort of a paying job. Let me know when they pay you to walk down the rocks and throw in your line and I'll put in my application.

On another topic - Ollie North basically told Congress to go to hell - that's a GOOD thing, even more so with the clowns there now.

Lucky 13 said...

What's fishin' on the rocks got to do with disability? Now if you want to ask how many have a valid fishing license, which is required, that's a fair question.

Which brings us back to the point of this discussion. None of those rock-fishermen are using a boat. They all contribute to wear and tear on the facilities, parking areas, toilet buildings, litter, etc. But, none of them will be required to pay the tax/fees under consideration.

Anonymous said...

@8:53 I am no relation to Sigman in any shape,form or fashion. I simply know the mans ethics and morals. You seem to think anyone in charge of something is going to screw up .

Anonymous said...

If you can waddle your fat ass down to the water's edge with a bucket full of minnows in one hand and a zebco in the other, then your ass isn't really disabled.

Anonymous said...

It's $35 my gosh.

If you are that broke, then just do like everyone else and stand at the intersection of Spillway and Hugh Ward on Saturday morning and beg for the money.

Anonymous said...

@ Identify The Perps - Have you done what your name says? Did you write tag numbers down and have them run by a LEO buddy or did you follow the 'perps" back to their home in Canton?? What a drip......

Sheesh It's Only Thirty Five Bucks said...

Listen to what anon at 3:34 said. "It's only $35".

Indeed! A little tax here, a little there, another over yonder and then here's this one. Let's add a penny here and if we raise your property tax by only sixty a year it won't be noticed.

Before you know it, you will be paying a significant amount in taxes. Taxed Enough Already?

Anonymous said...

Taxes are applied ONLY to the 'improvements' i.e., the actual house or building, NOT the ground the dwelling is on. It's the same way with 16th section lands.

If you don't like paying $80 a month lease, purchase a waterfront lot for 100's of thousands and build your mansion on it.

Chillin' At Overlook said...

Can we have a list of proposed improvements? The Fannin Landing project has been mentioned, and is nice. What others might be planned? I realize it's almost impossible to maintain public shitters, but every one of the 'restroom' facilities around the rez is in horrible, stanky condition. From my perspective, the bouys in the rez ought to be project number one. They're confusing, some are the wrong color, they're often placed without rhyme or reason, some are missing and most are in disrepair. Where's the list?

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