Picayune to launch new website Tues.

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 1, 2014

ONLINE REVAMP: From left, City Clerk Amber Hinton and City Manager Jim Luke tour the city’s new website. Photo by Jeremy Pittari

ONLINE REVAMP: From left, City Clerk Amber Hinton and City Manager Jim Luke tour the city’s new website.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

During next week’s Picayune city council meeting officials will unveil a new website.

The city’s new website has undergone a couple of versions to get it just right before it is revealed to the council and public Tuesday at 5 p.m., said City Manager Jim Luke.

Revamping the city’s website is part of a marketing campaign designed to sell Picayune as the ideal place to move, retire or set up a business, Luke said.

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Luke said the idea to create a new website came from the mayor and council as part of their economic development efforts.

A couple of features will be added when the new website goes live, such as a live feed from cameras pointed at certain areas of the city. The first will be a camera placed on historic city hall facing Goodyear Boulevard, Luke said. There are also plans to install cameras at Jack Read Park, the green space on Goodyear Boulevard, Crosby Arboretum and the Intermodal Transportation Center.

Luke said there are no plans to offer live feeds of council meetings at the present time, but the option may be discussed at a later date.

“I think we’re heading in that direction,” Luke said.

Picayune is less than an hour away from several major cities, including New Orleans, Hattiesburg and Gulfport, and it is this prime position along the Gulf Coast that the city wants to advertise, Luke said.

“We hope the website will say ‘location, location, location,’” Luke said.

In addition, Picayune features rail access with an Amtrak stop, a municipal airport and the city is the first high ground for miles around.

Citizens who want up to date information on Picayune can find the council’s minutes from previous meetings, agendas for upcoming meetings and city budgets and audits, all on the new website. If taking a ride to city hall to pay utility bills is a not in a citizen’s busy schedule, the new site will allow them to pay utility bills online. In addition, court fines can be paid online through the site, City Clerk Amber Hinton said. If a resident has a complaint, they can file it through a 311 link.

An annual calendar of events will provide citizens with dates for regularly occurring events. Civic organizations can submit their events to be added to the calendar for approval, Luke said.

Citizens who want to stay up to date on city topics can subscribe to the city manager’s newsletter via the webpage.

In addition to the typical contact information for each department, the site will feature an avenue to request public records, apply for jobs or find and print zoning and precinct maps.

Luke said a videographer is also compiling long and short versions of a video that will tell prospective visitors and business owners everything they need to know about Picayune.