Rotary Club takes on park project

Published 8:25 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2008

 The Poplarville Rotary Club has approached the city of Poplarville to propose a project to build restroom facilities at City Park.

Last week, Poplarville Bank Plus President Wayne Alexander addressed aldermen on behalf of the Rotary Club to give them the club’s plan for adding the needed facilities. He said the local Rotary chapter is trying to raise money for the project in addition to applying for a grant.

Alexander said residents use the park more than just for exercise. On any given weekend, often three birthdays are scheduled under the pavilions, he noted.

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“We’d like to partner with the city,” Alexander told Mayor Billy Spiers and the board of aldermen. “We’re hoping also the city may have some funds earmarked for recreational purposes that you could combine with monies Rotary will raise to complete this project.”

Alexander said Rotary is especially grateful for the assistance Pearl River Community College students have already given toward the planning phase of the project. The construction management technology class drew up the plans for public restrooms. Because this is a public facility that will benefit the entire community, Alexander is hopeful the project could benefit from more assistance from students in the vocational-technical departments on campus as well.

“Our goal is to do this project this year,” said Alexander.

He said the proposed facility will be virtually maintenance free, except for normal cleaning. He also proposed the city lock the restrooms at dusk and re-open them early in the morning to avoid unwanted problems during the evening hours.

Alexander told the aldermen he would have a breakdown of the cost of materials by their next meeting. He also is asking any individual or groups who might like to donate funds, expertise or time toward the project to call him at Bank Plus at 601-403-2240.

Last week, Doug Rowell also addressed the aldermen on behalf of Poplarville’s Relay for Life, scheduled for April 25. As event chair for this year’s drive to raise money for finding a cure for cancer, Rowell asked for the board’s permission to “Paint the Town Purple” in keeping with the theme for this year’s Relay.

Rowell is asking businesses to decorate their storefronts with purple balloons and ribbons in support of the 2008 Relay. He also asked the city for permission to place purple markers underneath street signs designating Poplarville as being in the fight for a cancer cure.

Several downtown businesses are making plans to host a downtown block party fundraiser and are hoping to gain permission from the city to do so, Rowell said. As part of the fundraiser, Apples, Ltd., is spearheading a fashion show that will feature cancer survivors and family members of cancer survivors as models.

The board approved Rowell’s requests. Although a block party on Main Street would be out of the question, aldermen agreed a side street would be a viable alternative — possibly on Erlanger Street between The Back Door Bookstore and Hancock Bank.