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City council meets to approve improvement

In a recessed meeting the Picayune City Council approved a public improvement district ordinance to accomodate a development being proposed by developer Carle Cooper for the north Picayune area off of U.S. 11.

The district is known as the North Picayune Public Improvement District.

The announcement for the Thursday meeting at which the action was taken was made following the executive session at Wednesday night’s meeting. The public is excluded from the executive session and generally leaves when the executive session begins. A hearing on the district held prior to the ordinance’s approveal and the proposal for the improvement district were not among the reasons given by the City Council for going into executive session. The only two items on the agenda for the executive session were a contract with Pearl River Community College and a personnel matter.

The new development by Cooper will seek assistance to fund infrastructure from city sales taxes from the state under the Tax Increment Financing plan, said interim City Manager Diane Miller. A TIF plan allows infrastructure to be built with sales tax the city would receive from the development, Miller said. The tax loan will be paid back by the business, with repayment duration depending on the agreement entered into with the state and Cooper, Miller said.

Infrastructure for a development can include water, sewer, lights and other initial needs of the new development, Miller said.

“It takes the burden off the developer and the city,” Miller said.

After Cooper hires planners and engineers to draw up a plan, the plan will be presented to the state for its approval, Miller said.

Miller said a number of local residents attended the meeting with questions concerning the new development that answered Cooper.