Picayune Council discusses cleanups

Published 1:57 pm Friday, August 5, 2011

Several property issues were covered at Picayune’s city council meeting Tuesday evening.

Most of those property issues dealt with cleaning up properties that have not been taken care of.

One of the matters involved a long list of 36 lots or properties, most of which do not involve structures. Council member Larry Breland asked why most if not all of the properties were in the Little Goodyear area, including properties on Neal Road and Trotter, Walker, Cousin and Morris Streets. Only one was on East Canal Street. City Manager Jim Luke said residents in the community attended a meeting held at a local church and those residents expressed an interest in those properties being cleaned up. Code Enforcement Director Diane Miller said the property owners will receive a certified letter informing them of the need to clean up their properties.

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“The intent is for the property owners to take care of their own property,” said Chad Frierson.

The council also held a public hearing on other properties they would like to see cleaned up. Most of those property owners who attended the meeting admitted they had let their property decline and asked for an extension to clean it up.

One property owner, Leonard Leenders, also said he would like to renovate his property, formerly known as The Clock, but first a flooding issue needs to be addressed.

Leenders said for the past 14 years that property floods when an inch or two of rain falls in the city. He asked the council if anything could be done about the poor drainage in the area. City Manager Jim Luke asked Public Works Director Eric Morris to look at the problem and get in touch with the Mississippi Department of Transportation to see what can be done about the poor drainage.

During the council members concerns section of the meeting, Council member Lynn Bogan Bumpers requested that the deep ditches on Blanks Avenue closest to Memorial Boulevard be covered, since the narrow road has seen some accidents.

Council member Larry Watkins asked City Engineer Brooks Wallace about the progress with the city wide paving. Wallace said the recent frequency of rain storms has pushed the project back, but by Thursday crews are expected to continue paving Goodyear Boulevard.

Council member Todd Lane asked about the progress J.J. Eugeron has made with tearing down the burned out section of the Centraplex. Fire Chief Keith Brown said he’s been in touch with Eugeron about the matter, but was informed by Eugeron that he’s had to hire a new contractor after discussions with the first did not form a deal. Lane then asked how long ago Eugeron pulled the demolition permit. Brown said it’s been about three months and the permit is good for six months, meaning Eugeron has three more months to take action.

Council member Wayne Gouguet said it appears as though Eugeron is stalling and asked if there is a way to prompt him to move forward, but City Attorney Nathan Farmer said the ordinance on demolition permits does not grant any such action. Mayor Ed Pinero Jr. suggested the city have their equipment ready to cut Eugeron’s side of the building away from the city’s and tear it down themselves if he does not take action at the end of the six months. Lane also suggested the council consider amending the demolition permit ordinance to reduce the time allowed to fulfill the permit.

The council went into executive session to discuss a contractual matter dealing with the Centraplex but no action was taken on the matter after the executive session, Luke said.

In other business the council;

— Approved a proposal from Landry and Lewis for the expansion and renovation of Historic City Hall.

— Approved advertising notice of a public budget hearing, which will be held at the next meeting.

The next regular session meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Aug. 16.