Picayune becomes 100 percent smoke free with amended ordinance
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Picayune’s city council approved a motion to make the municipality 100 percent smoke free and presented a key to the city to the director of the recent baseball tournament that brought close to 100 teams to the area.
During Tuesday’s meeting Planning and Zoning Director Diane Miller presented the council with an amended smoking ordinance. The city passed a smoking ordinance five years ago, but that ordinance focused on restaurants. The amendment presented Tuesday adds smoking bans to enclosed public places and work places.
As with all ordinances, it will go into effect 30 days after the amended ordinance is published.
Miller said the amended ordinance will qualify the city as 100 percent smoke free with the Mississippi Tobacco Free Program.
Private clubs will be excluded from this ordinance. Smokers must be five feet from a building when doing so.
During the recognition section of the meeting, city officials presented Gulf South USSSA Baseball Director Billy Vaughn with the key to the city for bringing 93 youth baseball teams to the city. The two-day tournament, held two weekends ago, was a major economic boost to the city, said City Operations Manager Harvey Miller.
During the event, city employees worked more than 15 hours each day. Miller said city employees had only five days to prepare the fields at Friendship Park due to the heavy rains that fell the week before.
Hotels were full and convenience stores and restaurants experienced sales spikes that weekend. Mayor Ed Pinero said restaurant owners he spoke to reported a 30 percent increase in sales.
Vaughn said the league involves teams from the surrounding communities, but the recent tournament brought people from Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.
Vernon Moore with Dungan Engineering gave the council an update on the drainage work near Woodglen Cove. He said the contractor is in the process of creating walls, and expects concrete to be poured on those walls by the end of the week. Moore expects the entire project to be complete by the end of the month, weather permitting.
Council member Larry Breland asked Police Chief Bryan Dawsey about the possibility of using city jail trustys to conduct work around the city. Dawsey said the obstacle with establishing such a program is that trustys at the city jail work to repay fines, which are sometimes paid monetarily, or the fines are for minimal amounts and are paid off in one day. This creates a scheduling issue since he doesn’t know how many trustys will show each day.
Council member Lynn Bogan Bumpers asked city manager Jim Luke to look into overgrown ditches near Greenwood Drive, which provide a habitat for snakes. Luke said he will speak with city personnel to have the issue resolved.
Replacement of natural gas lines is progressing. Moore said the project still has a deadline of Dec. 27, but installation of the six-inch high-pressure line has been complete from Palestine Road down Beech Street. Soon the installation will move to Goodyear Boulevard. A date on when the new lines will be charged and tied into homes was not available during Tuesday’s meeting.