City Council sweeps rapidly through long agenda

Published 7:40 pm Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Picayune City Council, short two members, Tuesday night swept rapidly through a long agenda of primarily routine matters, stopping only long enough to promote the Egg Drop at the airport and the Great American Cleanup, to pull four properties from a cleanup and demolish list and at the end hear a few words of praise and a complaint from a vendor at the Picayune Street Fair.

Mayor Greg Mitchell urged residents who attended the meeting to come to the third annual Egg Drop at the Picayune Municipal Airport on Saturday, March 24. He said there will lots for children to do, including some rides, and that Picayune’s event is now being copied by other municipalities.

“I just pray we will have good weather,” the mayor told the small crowd.

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For the egg drop, plastic eggs containing prizes are taken up in airplanes and dropped with the aim of hitting the target. The one that comes closest to the center wins.

He also urged the crowd to take part in the Great American Cleanup around town that will take place the same day.

“We want people to be proud of our town,” Mitchell said, saying that a clean town engenders pride in the residents.

“This (the cleanup) is a good idea. … There are some who are not accustomed to putting their trash where it should be put,” he said, explaining the reason for the cleanup.

Volunteers putting together this years cleanup hope to make the event a year round effort and not just a one weekend a month event.

The mayor said 35 people had attended a Monday night meeting of volunteers interested in participating in the cleanup and that another meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, March 12. He asked those present to attend the meeting.

The board also heard some words of praised from Christine Doby during the citizens’ comments portion of the meeting at the end of the public part of the meeting.

Doby stepped up to the podium and said, “Thank, you! Thank, you! Thank, you, for the facelift of Buren and Eighth streets. It is beautiful.”

Another couple had a more disturbing message. John and Corane McRaney said that they had their canopy damaged at the last Street Fair and had difficulty in getting the matter taken dealt with. Now they have received a letter from the managers of the Street Fair saying they are not welcome back at the Spring Street Fair, which takes place Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1. The letter accused of using inappropriate language in reporting the accident, which they denied.

“This was not our fault. We are the victims,” Corane McRaney said.

She said the canopy for their booth had been damaged by another vendor who backed in a small trailer at the direction of one of the Street Fair’s managers.

“We wouldn’t have known who did it if it weren’t for a witness,” she said, saying no one from the Street Fair contacted them about the accident.

They said that one person with the Street Fair that they talked with told them several times that they did not need an accident report from the Picayune Police Department.

John McRaney said they insisted and that it was good they did have the accident properly reported because they needed to send the accident report to the vendor’s insurance company to have their damages paid for.

They were especially upset at being barred from the upcoming Street Fair and for being accused of using inappropriate language.

Mitchell told the couple to provide a letter detailing the events to City Manager Ed Pinero and he would investigate.

The council members present approved all business matters unanimously on which it voted in the public forum. Absent were Anna Turnage, who was reported to be ill, and Leavern Guy, who was reported to be traveling.

The council approved pulling 2321 and 2309 Cousin St., 819 E. Canal St. and Delta Tire World on Miss. 43 South form the list of properties on which it was hold a public hearing to declare as nuisances, and approved declaring all others on the list as nuisances. The council also set April 3 as the date to hold a public hearing on another list of properties.

In other business, the council:

— Approved the consent agenda.

— Approved a list of Planning Commission recommendations, including subdividing eight lots on South Haugh for Habitat for Humanity, rezoning property on Telly Road and Cedar Grove from R-2 to R-3, rezoning property off U.S. 11 North from R-1 to PUD-R with variances for apartments above some commercial establishments, home occupation licenses and an extension for All Tell Wireless to continue occupying its temporary office.

— Approved city sewer service for St. Paul Lutheran and water service for 112 Sleepy Hollow and 29 Huppo Rd.

— Approved a change order of $7,610.28 contract change order for the Telly Road overlay.

— Approved a change order for the rail spur for Rheogistics.

— Approved advertising the resources with a sponsorship sign for the Lady Tide Diamond Backers Softball Team for $200.

— Approved closing part of Goodyear Boulevard from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, April 22, to provide a safe walkway from 1st Baptist Church to Jack Read Park for a church picnic.

— Approved street closures Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, for the Relay for Life at Jack Read Park, and on Saturday, May 12, for Save-A-Life 2007 Fundraiser.

— Approved a request from Relay for Life to place purple bows on lamp posts on East and West Canal and Main streets from March 30-May 5.

— Went into executive session on contractual matters with Charter Communications, with Ron Fine of Partners for Pearl River County, with Emergency Management Service and on a personnel matter. Following the executive session, the city entered a letter of intent to negotiate a contract extension with EmergyStat, the city’s ambulance service provider. No action was taken on the other matters.