Council puts emergency exit on hold for proposed new business

Published 4:58 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A business looking to develop in the area of Memorial Boulevard might have to reconsider where its emergency exit is located.

The City Council was told at its meeting Tuesday, that a new hotel chain slated for construction off of Memorial Boulevard wants to build an emergency exit onto South Blanks Avenue.

“We have to keep a close eye on that because we can’t stand no more traffic on South Blanks,” said council member Donald Parker.

Council member Leaverne Guy protested that information about these developments needs to be handed down to the council members, but council member Anna Turnage reminded Guy that the council approved the preliminary plat for the development.

“This is kind of Greek to me, that is the reason we have an Engineering Department to tell us this,” Guy said as he pointed to the development’s plans in his hand.

Concerns of extra traffic on the narrow road, emergency or not, was fodder for Parker and Guy. Both Guy and Parker suggested the developer be held accountable for road improvements to Blanks Avenue, such as widening and making the road safer.

“The city cannot incur every expense that comes about because of the developer,” council member Larry Watkins said.

The council tabled the matter until their next meeting.

A resident addressed the council at the end of the meeting with a letter he received about preparing in case of floods. Jeff Hensiek said his house has been flooded about seven times in the past. He has been bringing his flooding problem to the council for the past 15 years, he said. Recently he was approved for a Mississippi Development Authority grant to rebuild his flood damaged home from Hurricane Katrina. However, he said the information in the letter has him concerned about rebuilding.

“I’d have to build a special cabinet to keep my boots in,” Hensiek said.

Guy looked over the letter and informed Hensiek that the letter only states things home owners in flood prone areas could do to prepare for a flood.

“Wouldn’t a better suggestion be to fix the problem,” Hensiek said.

The council asked Hensiek to discuss the matter further with City Manager Ed Pinero Jr. to see what could be done.

The council went into executive session to discuss a possible land sale, a contractual matter concerning the train depot and possible litigation with Hide-A-Way Lake. Pinero said the sale of land was denied and the contractual matter with the train depot was tabled. The litigation matter concerning a lawsuit by Hide-A-Way Lake against the city was discussed with no action taken, he said.

In other business the council:

— Approved the Lion’s Club can shake at the intersections of Miss. 43 N. and U.S. 11 and Canal St. and U.S. 11 on Saturday.

— Approved Sonnet’s Dance and Hip Hop to hold a dog walk to raise money for the SPCA 1:30-2:30p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at Jack Read Park.

— Accepted a bid from Bulldog Construction of $533,450 for eight T-hangars at the airport paid for with Miss. Department of Transportation multi-modal grant funds.

— Approved a permit for a Veteran’s Day parade sponsored by the Picayune NJROTC at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. The parade starts in front of Highland Hospital on Goodyear Boulevard and heads to West Canal Street.

— Accepted a $500 donation from Picayune Campus Security to buy supplies for the Vocational Center to build a trophy case.

The next council meeting is at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the new City Hall.