Fire rating for city of Picayune improves to fifth class

Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 20, 2014

Picayune Fire Chief Keith Brown told the Picayune City Council at its Tuesday evening meeting that the city’s fire rating has ‘improved from a 6 to a 5.”

Brown said the improvement is more important to commercial interests than to homeowners in terms of savings on fire insurance. However, homeowners “may see some small improvement,” he said.

The fire chief said the improvement in the fire rating isn’t attributable just to the fire department but to several other city departments as well. Among others he singled out the police department, the public works department and zoning. He called the effort that went into improving fire protection in the city a “team effort.”

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The mayor and council thanked Brown for his report.

The city council received some more good news from City Clerk Amber Hinton. She told the council that the city had received a “clean audit” with no findings. No findings means nothing was found in the city’s books that was a problem.

Auditor Sally Eavenson of Hattiesburg told the board that on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, Picayune’s audit was a 10, which she said was a slight improvement over the 9.5 she generally gives for clean audits and which the city earned last year.

The council voted to accept the audit.

The council also ended the dispute over its rejection of both bids for the System Wide Cast Iron Main Replacement Project, by accepting Circuit Judge Anthony Mozingo’s ruling and awarding the bid to T.L. Wallace Construction for $1.72 million.

The council approved appointing Donald Bowles to the Picayune Housing Authority board, but tabled an appointment to the Pearl River County Library System Board of Trustees.

Three people had been suggested for the seat, but one withdrew. However, Council Member Tammy Valente nominated Curtis Gasper and Council Member Janice Stevens nominated Diane Boone, which were the remaining two on the original list. The council tabled the appointment for further discussion.

In other business, the council:

— Approved the consent agenda.

— Approved a request for grants administrator Christy Goss to attend the RPI Ideal Living Expo in Philadelphia, Penn.

— Approved a request from St. Tammany Box to add a 50-foot strip purchased from the city to its existing parcel in the Picayune Industrial Park for a plant expansion that should mean more jobs at the industry.

— Approved a change order to the City Wide Overlay Project.

— Accepted a donation of $500 from the Pearl River County Home Builders Association for the police department’s summer camp fund.

— Approved a three-year extension with AAA Ambulance Service.

— Approved a request for Chief Brown to attend the National Fire and Emergency Services seminar by the Congressional Fire Services Institute in Washington, D.C. April 29-May 2.

— Heard David Fred Smith’s complaint about the police department misidentifying him and told him the matter would be investigated.

Adjourned until March 4.