City council looks for public opinion

Published 12:07 am Sunday, December 2, 2007

In an effort to keep the public informed the City of Picayune’s city council members will hold meetings to get public opinion on a new waste water treatment plant, paid for with funds through the Pearl River County Utility Authority.

The five district specific meetings will concern the city entering into an agreement with the Utility Authority for them to install a new $28 million waste water treatment plant within the city limits, said City Manager Ed Pinero Jr. This treatment plant will provide the needed room for Picayune to continue to grow.

The series of meetings will ensure the citizens will know all sides of the story and have the opportunity to share their opinions on the matter. Pinero said the mayor and council feel it’s important for the citizens to be informed.

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“We certainly think this is a good avenue to get the topic out in the air,” Pinero said. “This is too important of an issue to do on the back end.”

Topics for discussion at the meeting will include the fees that may be involved in the partnership and any other points of interest.

“We believe there will be people for an against it,” Pinero said.

Each meeting will be specific to the district in that only the representing council member will be present for their respective district meeting. However Pinero, Public Works Director Chad Frierson and a representative from Hartman Engineering will also be present at all five meetings.

If the consensus of the meetings show little interest in the Utility Authority and the City entering into an agreement then the $28 million promised to Picayune for the new treatment facility will be used elsewhere in the county. Additionally, if that is the decision, the city will have to take out loans and bonds to significantly renovate the old facility themselves, Pinero said.

Five meetings will take place on separate days, one for each district.

Leavern Guy will seek comments from District 4 on Dec. 6, Jerry Bounds will seek comments from District 5 on Dec. 10, Anna Turnage will seek comments from District 3 on Dec. 11, Donald Parker will seek comments from District 2 on Dec. 12, and Larry Watkins will seek comments from District 1 on Dec. 13. Community members living in those districts are asked to attend their district’s meeting to participate in the discussion.

All meetings will be held at the council chambers in City Hall, located at 815 N. Beech St., in Picayune and take place at 6 p.m. The meetings are scheduled to last no longer than an hour each.