Picayune wins fifth award in as many years

Published 1:24 pm Thursday, July 10, 2008

For the fifth year in a row, the City of Picayune’s Police Department has been responsible for winning the Mississippi Municipal Excellence Award.

Excellence awards are awarded each year by the Mississippi Municipal League and The Clarion Ledger at the annual conference.

This year’s winning program, entitled Pick it up Picayune, was submitted by Community Officer Monica Jacobsen. The program was implemented by Jacobsen and Chief Jim Luke. The program aims to clean up the city twice a year, usually just before the city’s street fairs.

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The program was initiated in 2007 by the department to clean the streets after Hurricane Katrina.

This is the second program assigned to Jacobsen that won an MML excellence award, Luke said. Last year’s winning program submitted by Jacobsen was the Teen-411, a program that gave students of the Picayune Municipal Separate School District a chance to have their concerns heard by the department.

Luke said winning the award was a team effort that involved city leaders, the business community and the citizens.

City officials accepted the award at the Mississippi Municipal League Conference on June 25 at the Biloxi Coliseum. This year’s award is the sixth win for the city as a whole. The first win was for the senior center, Luke said.

A recycling program is in the works as part of the Pick it up Picayune program, Jacobsen said. Wal-Mart held a baseball tournament last year where enough money was raised to purchase a cardboard box baler for the city. When the recycling program gets under way, the baler will be instrumental in recycling old boxes.

In the Pick it up Picayune program citizens are asked to donate their time to pick up litter around their homes and community. Each session begins with a welcome ceremony at city hall where free garbage bags are handed out. Last year dumpsters were donated by Coastal Waste Services, providing a place for people to take the trash they collected.

A number of decorative trash cans also were a product of the Pick it up Picayune program, painted by students of the city’s school district. Those cans now line Main Street, Canal Street and Goodyear Boulevard, providing a place for trash.

Currently the Pick it up Picayune program is looking for a new president. Interested parties can contact Jacobsen at 601-798-7411 ext. 111.