Public hearing set for new fees for building

Published 7:20 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Picayune Police Department and the Picayune City Council last night recognized Matthew Fleming for his assistance in saving a child from drowning at a local apartment complex.

Deputy Police Chief Tom Milar introduced Fleming and said he had helped an officer responding to a call about the child rescue the 5-year-old girl from the pool at Arbor Gates Apartments and then helped the officer administer CPR until the ambulance arrived.

At about 6:22 p.m. on May 19, Milar said an officer was sent to the apartment complex when the department received a report of a child drowning in the swimming pool.

“Upon arrival an officer along with a civilian who was passing by, Matthew Fleming, helped pull the 5-year-old female from the swimming pool. The child had no signs of life. The officer and Matthew Fleming started CPR and continued until EmergyStat arrived and transported the child to the hospital,” Milar said.

The deputy chief said that because of Fleming’s assistance, the child has made a full recovery.

Milar presented Fleming with a Certificate of Appreciation from the American Police Hall of Fame for helping an officer that needed assistance.

A public hearing will be held at the next City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3, on the fee schedule to be used for fees associated with construction under the International Building Codes. Tammy Campbell with the permit department made the request as she gave copies of the fee structure to council members

The city had adopted the building codes in 2003, including the language for setting fees under the codes, but had never formally set the fees for the Planning Commission, subdivisions, building, electrical and plumbing permits.

At the end of the meeting, a representative of Habitat for Humanity, Bob Niemi, requested that his and other non-profit organizations be exempted from paying the fees for the permits. The council asked Niemi to return at its first meeting in October with his request, because the council couldn’t amend the budget last night for a vote on the request.

Nathan Varnado and his neighbors approached the board at the end of the meeting, also, to request that Amelia Street be paved and that other city services be afforded them. Varnado said the problem arose when a railroad crossing was taken out and the road to their homes became a quagmire.

Mayor Greg Mitchell said that when the railroad crossing was removed, the railroad was supposed to take care of the situation. He asked Varnado and his neighbors to get with City Manager Ed Pinero and that the city would put correcting the problems on its priority list.

The council approved the location of a USGS Global Positioning System station on top of Crosby Memorial Library. The system is being installed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Southern Mississippi at no cost to the city.

“We’ll be one of the first cities in the nation to get accurate height elevations,” Pinero said in introducing the request to the council.

Pinero also asked the board to approve a contract for $301,250 for improvements on West Canal Street, from Main Street to Kirkwood . The work will consist of milling and overlaying the street, he said.

With Hurricane Katrina in mind, the council approved the purchase of a natural gas-fueled generator for the new city hall, which is the old Arizona Chemical building.

“The fuel won’t run out,” said Councilman Leavern Guy, when Pinero brought the matter to the council.

The building is to be the emergency management center for the city in the event of another disaster such as Hurricane Katrina.

The council held a hearing in connection with the city’s flood damage prevention ordinance to add language that will make it easier for residents in flood prone areas to receive help following floods, including home buyouts for those who are repeatedly flooded. Following the hearing, the council adopted the language as part of the Ordinance No. 608.

The council approved a request by the Picayune Fire Department to apply for a Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program grant through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In other business, the City Council:

— Approved the consent agenda.

— Approved holding the fall Picayune Street Fair on Saturday, Nov. 4, and Sunday, Nov. 5, along East and West Canal streets, and approved a helicopter ride service and a train ride in connection with the Street Fair.

— This year’s Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Civic Woman’s Club, is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 4.

— Approved a request to surplus some equipment from the police department.

— Appointed Patricia Barnett to replace Steve Lawler on the Planning Commission and reappointed Nancy Durham and Martha Sheppard to the Planning Commission.

— Approved the preliminary and final plats for Bank Plus to subdivide one parcel into two parcels.

— Approved accepting a resolution approving Beau Jardin Phase 1-Final Plat and a resolution accepting Beau Jardin Phase 2, Block A-Preliminary Plat.

Adjourned until 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3.