First county resident given key to cottage

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sarah Greenly of PIcayune was the first county resident to receive a key to a Mississippi Cottage on Tuesday at the SunRoamers RV Park.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin, District V Supervisor Sandy Kane Smith, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Housing Representative Lisa Garcia and other MEMA representatives were on site Tuesday for a small ceremony to present Greenly with the key.

“I don’t have words for how I feel. I’m so ecstatic,” Greenly said.

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Greenly said she has been living in a Federal Emergency Management Agency travel trailer since May of 2006, and did not find out until recently that she would be receiving a cottage.

“I didn’t know until this past week. I had applied when they had the workshop over at the church, but I had not heard anything. It just escalated in a matter of days when they called me and told me I was going to be moving into a cottage,” Greenly said.

Lumpkin said Greenly’s moving into the cottage was the culmination of months of hard work.

“We’ve been working four months or longer to get accepted into the Mississippi Cottage program. It was originally limited to the three coastal counties, but there is still a need for housing in Pearl River County. It’s a good day for Pearl River County today,” Lumpkin said.

Lumpkin said he thinks the county currently has more than 200 applicants for private cottages, and he says he looks forward to making sure the program goes well in the county.

Smith said he thinks the program will be beneficial to the county and its residents in more ways than just the actual housing.

“I think it will boost morale and get people back in a way of living. These cottages look a lot better than the travel trailers… They’re going to help the elderly and disabled because there is more room allowing for more movement than the travel trailers. I just think it’s great,” Smith said.

Max Mueller, owner of SunRoamers RV Park, said everyone is a winner with the cottage program.

“The residents, the park, the administraotrs, everyone becomes a winner. It’s a nice feeling to help people… I certainly like what MEMA is doing,” Mueller said.

Ken McCool, who works with the Mississippi Alternative Housing Project, said the program hopes to place a total of 4,000 cottages by the end of the year.

“Speaking for MAHP, we’re very appreciative that the leadership in Pearl River County has embraced the program as fully as they have. We’re very happy to be here,” McCool said.

Greenly said she could not believe the amount of room and space inside the cottage compared to the travel trailer in which she has been living.

“I have room for my clothes in the closet! I didn’t think it was this big! I can’t believe it,” Greenly said. “This is my cottage condo!”