By Jennifer Lenain/Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Staying true to tradition, the city of Picayune dedicated the new addition to City Hall on Friday and followed a program similar to the one that was used exactly 74 years ago, on Wednesday, May 3, 1939, for the dedication of the historic east end of City Hall.
“We’re proud to dedicate our new City Hall,” City Manager Jim Luke said. “It is a tribute to the past, present and future generations of our city.”
“This is a wonderful building,” Mayor Ed Pinero said. “I’ve never seen so many people get excited about a historical building. It’s a wonderful day.”
The invocation was given by Dr. Keith Warden of the First Baptist Church, as it was given by the Rev. R. K. Corder, pastor of the First Baptist Church, in 1939.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 2, the city’s longest organized troop, raised the flag and led guests in the Pledge of Allegiance, just as members of the Picayune Boy Scout Organization did at the dedication 74 years ago.
The members of the color guard were dressed in original, vintage uniforms from the’ 30s, ’40s and ’50s.
In 1939, the Picayune High School Band played during the dedication ceremony, the Mississippi Woman’s College Senior Quartet sang, and a portrait of Mayor L.O. Crosby was presented.
The same was done for the new City Hall dedication.
Carolyn Terry, former president of the Greater Picayune Arts Council, presented Mayor Ed Pinero with a portrait of himself that will hang in city hall.
Following the ceremony, visitors were invited to tour the facility that is completely debt-free.
“We saved money versus spending it,” Pinero said. “We are good stewards with the citizens’ money.”
The city saved money to pay for the new municipal building, Gov. Phil Bryant said. “Thrift, oh what a wonderful virtue that we have forgotten.”
The renovation and expansion of the historic City Hall cost approximately $2 million.
The new addition connects directly to the historic east end through a long hallway, “The whole building is now tied together and ADA compliant,” Pinero said.
The historic City Hall, costing $45,000, was also paid for upon completion in February of 1939.
It was funded in part by the Works Progress Administration, providing $23,000, and the city paid $22,000 with an additional $5,000 approved for beautification of the grounds.
During the ceremony, the city was commended by Congressman Steven Palazzo, “The growth in Picayune is due to leadership that puts economic development first,” he said.
“63 businesses opened their doors in Picayune last year,” Palazzo said. “I think Washington could learn a thing from Picayune and the state of Mississippi.”
“I believe this day (May 3, 2013) will also be recorded for generations to come as a time when our city leaders and citizens did it right,” Luke said. “Thank you Mayor Pinero and our city council for bringing our City Hall back home to the heart of the city, where it all began so many years ago.
“Without the public works department, this wouldn’t have been possible,” he said. “Can’t say enough kudos for what the department did for this project.”