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City Council discusses training building code inspectors

In a short meeting, the Picayune City Council discussed training of new building codes inspectors funded with grant money and purchasing of new equipment to help spruce up the city.

The City of Picayune will use its own building code enforcement program and plans to certify personnel through a program offered for free by the Pearl River Community College. Councilman Jerry Bounds said the night classes will be offered to the new code enforcement employees and any who are interested in Picayune sometime in October. About 200 people have signed up to take advantage of the classes, Bounds said. City of Picayune Operations Assistant Diane Miller said that a location has not yet been found because of the high volume of interest in the classes.

Salary for the planned hiring of three city code inspectors will be funded for one year through a grant of $176,781 from the Mississippi Development Authority 2006 Community Development Block Grant.

“It’s a win, win situation,” Mayor Greg Mitchell said.

The council authorized acceptance of the grant and for the mayor to sign the grant.

Ditch mowing and other maintenance needs of the city will be met with the purchase of a new Takeuchi Skid Steer Rubber Track Loader. City Manager Ed Pinero said the purchase would be a great asset to the mowing effort since the city man power is down. Miller said the equipment has five attachments on it, including a stump grinder and smaller mower attachment to take care of grass growing in ditches.

“So it fits in line with everything we have going on,” Pinero said.

The council approved purchasing the equipment with Federal Emergency Management Agency funds.

Condemned houses and loose debris in the city will be handled with the purchase of a Model DL-3 Loader with a 45 cubic yard trash body attached to a 2007 International Model 7500. The city has received approval from the State Auditor’s office for the purchase, according to the agenda.

Bounds said the equipment could be used for debris removal of about 200 condemned homes in the city. The council approved the purchase of the equipment.

Budget discussions planned for the Thursday meeting had to be rescheduled due to technical problems with new computer software. City Clerk Linda Caston said bugs in the system left blank spaces on her budget report. The council decided to hold another meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday Aug., 29, in the new council chambers to discuss the budget.

An executive session was held concerning personnel matters, which lead to no action.

In other business, the council approved issuance of manual checks.