Tobacco ordinance public hearing set

Published 1:57 pm Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A gathering of public opinion will center around the possibility of smoke free businesses in the City of Picayune.

The public hearing has been set for 6 p.m. Oct. 21, at Picayune’s City Hall where the city council will collect the public’s opinion on setting forth a smoking ordinance for businesses and other locations in the city limits.

Railroad cars blocking railroad crossings got council member Leavern Guy talking. He asked the police department to uphold a city ordinance that states that railroad tracks should not be blocked for anymore than 20 minutes. Guy said it is frustrating to attempt to cross the tracks at the intersection of Bruce Street and U.S. 11 only to find them blocked by a train attempting to maneuver into the Heritage Plastics.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“They need to be more conscience and more neighborly in their maneuvering,” Guy said.

As requested by the council at a previous meeting Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality contractor Gloria Tatum presented the council with copies of the transcript made from the Stone Treated Materials public hearing. The hearing, held earlier this year, gathered comments from the community concerning whether the business should be granted a permit to resume it’s wood treating operations. The plant was shut down about two years ago after it repeatedly failed to correct a number of MDEQ regulations, resulting in violations. As a result MDEQ issued the business, which treated wood with arsenic and other chemicals, cease and desist orders.

The information gathered at the public hearing will be reviewed by a permitting board. That board has not met yet, nor has a date been set, Tatum said.

A new service in the north end of the city has Mayor Greg Mitchell concerned. He said that the Picayune Postal Annex is now functional as a full service post office. The ribbon cutting ceremony held earlier today made it official. While services offered by the annex will be an asset to the growing nature of the north part of town there is concern of an increase in traffic at that intersection. Mitchell suggested this would be an opportune time to address the need for caution lights or even a stop light at that intersection to help with traffic problems with Mississippi Department of Transportation.

The council went into executive session to discuss contractual matter with Environmental Protection Agency, Partners for Pearl River County, Industrial Park, a personnel matter and the possible lease of property. The outcome of the executive session was not available by press time Monday evening.

In other business the council;

— Approved a request from First Baptist Church of Picayune to hold a family fall festival from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 25, on the church grounds and at Jack Reed Park.

— Moved matters concerning appointing a replacement for Pearl Ducré to the Housing Authority Board, appointment of two positions and a chairperson in the Planning Commission until after the executive session.

— Approved issuing payment to the Pearl River County Utility Authority for sewer revenue collected for the months of June, July and August.

— Approved a noise ordinance as submitted by the Picayune Police Department.

The next council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 7.