By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Picayune’s city council made a changes to ordinances relating to two different matters.
The changes focused on the beer and light wine ordinance and the ordinance that relates to how fortune telling, tattoo or body piercing businesses will place signage.
On the beer and light wine front, the change to the ordinance will reduce the number of people on the city’s alcohol beverage panel to one person. City Attorney Nathan Farmer said the panel previously consisted of three people, including the city manager, police chief and the city clerk. Who the one person would be on the “panel” after the change was not revealed during the meeting.
The update also reflects the state’s recent change to allow beer containing up to 8 percent alcohol by weight. Beer having that alcohol content now will be allowed to be sold in Picayune stores, Farmer said. The city attorney said that change to the ordinance was simply a formality. After the state allowed the increased amount of alcohol in beer, it was up to each city to make changes to their ordinances to allow its sale.
The changes to the ordinance was unanimously approved by the council.
A second set of changes to city ordinances focused on how fortune telling, tattoo and body piercing businesses could put signage on their buildings. Farmer said the changes were made to match laws that state all three types of businesses have a right to operate within city limits, but the city can regulate how they operate.
Farmer said the signs for such businesses will be required to be one dimensional, not flash or strobe, and must not be placed on city rights of way.
“We’re not putting them out of business; we just want to regulate them to make it a little more discreet,” Farmer said.
That change to the city ordinance also was approved unanimously.
Chris Happ spoke to the council about a piece of property at 1701 U.S. Highway 11. That property was on the agenda to be listed as a public nuisance due to its state of disrepair. Happ said he and a co-owner of the property have hired a contractor and plan to have all the doors and windows replaced.
The same property came under fire last month when a number of residents reported they were being evicted and had no where else to go. Happ said the residents were asked to vacate the building to allow the renovation work to take place. The council approved a motion to grant Happ a 60 day extension to allow time for the repairs to be completed.
Maintenance of lighting at Jack Read and Shay parks will be conducted by Mississippi Power. Public Works Director Eric Morris said the lighting at both parks is nearing seven-years-old, and he estimates a number of those lights will need maintenance soon. Each lighting fixture has a number of expensive components, and Morris estimates the cost to repair those lights when they fail to be about $750 per light. There are about 20 light fixtures between the two parks, Morris said.
The council approved a motion to enter into the agreement with Mississippi Power at a cost of $235 a month.
Work to construct Highland Commons Parkway is expected to be complete by the end of the month. City Engineer Brooks Wallace said once Highland Parkway is complete, work to pave Cooper Road also should be complete. After that work is done, only Ausborn Road will remain to be paved,.
In other business the council;
— Approved a $1,000 donation to the Fire Department from Wal-Mart.
— Authorized entering into an agreement to receive long distance phone service for city offices from C Spire Business Solutions at a savings of about $35,000 a year.
The next scheduled council meeting is at 5 p.m. Dec. 18.