By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
The Picayune city council on Tuesday voted to approve a motion to move forward with seeking $3 million to be used to replace aging cast iron natural gas lines and learned their next meeting would be in the addition to the historic City Hall on Goodyear Boulevard.
The bond will be paid off through a 20 year financing loan, with an average interest rate of 2.25 to 2.50 percent, said Mark Houston, a government consultant.
Council member Larry Breland asked if there would be an option to pay off the loan early, but Lucien Bourgeois with the Butler Snow law firm in Jackson said there would be a penalty to do so.
City Clerk Amber Hinton said the money will be used to replace the many aging cast-iron natural gas lines in the city.
In other business the council heard from property manager Allen Goff, who represents the owner of a mobile home park on South Curran Avenue. The property was on the agenda for cleanup issues. Goff informed the council there are plans in the works not only to cleanup the property, but either to renovate or to replace the mobile homes. The property contains four mobile homes and a traditional home.
Goff said he hopes to have the mobile homes that need to be replaced moved out within the next year and a half to two years.
Chad Frierson, the city’s code enforcement officer, said the land is zoned R-4, and while it is not zoned for mobile homes, it has been grandfathered in as such. In order to maintain that non-conforming use, the owner cannot vacate that use of the property, meaning mobile homes need to stay on the property.
Council member Jason Todd Lane said two years is too long to wait to have the mobile homes replaced. Goff said the lot will be cleaned up within the next 60 days, but he needs time to get the mobile homes in need of repair replaced.
The lot has had mobile homes on it since 1994, Goff said.
The council approved a motion to grant Goff 60 days to have the property cleaned up.
About $200,000, 80 percent of which will come from grant funds from the Mississippi Department of Transportation, will be used to install new benches, lighting and signage along Main and Canal streets and Goodyear Boulevard, said city engineer Brooks Wallace. Hinton said the city’s match, about $40,000, has been budgeted.
The city council authorized the mayor’s signature on a preliminary engineering contract with Dungan Engineering concerning the project.
City Manager Jim Luke announced at Tuesday’s meeting that it would be the last held at the Beech Street location. City employees are moving into the new addition to the historic City Hall on Goodyear Boulevard. The next council meeting will be held at that location on April 2, at 5 p.m.
In other business the council;
— Approved a memorandum of understanding between the Police Department and the Sheriff’s Department to hold city prisoners at the county jail in Millard during emergencies that require evacuation of the Criminal Justice Center.
— Approved a motion to purchase five new vehicles for the Police Department using funds from the Special Police Drug Fund. One vehicle, a 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 crew cab pickup, will cost $18,899 and be paid for outright. The remaining four are fully equipped police vehicles of an unknown make, model and year and will be purchased at a total price of $106,000 under a lease purchase agreement with Hancock Bank.