Visions attained for the city of Picayune

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 10, 2014

About 4 years ago I was appointed City Manager by Mayor Pinero and City Councilmembers.  At one of our first meetings, they shared with me their visions for the City of Picayune.  One of their first visions was returning City Hall to Downtown, at that time City Hall had been relocated to the Arizona Chemical Building on Beech Street.  So with a lot of hard work and planning, we did just that.  We built a new building and attached the old and new buildings together and made one grand City Hall.   The Arizona Chemical Building on Beech Street was sold.   The proceeds from the Arizona Chemical Building helped us to move into a debt free City Hall building.

In the summer of 2012 the City was awarded a Transportation Enhancement Grant of $200,000.00.  With the awarding of this grant the City now has been able to place 6 nostalgic lights on Goodyear Boulevard and 10 nostalgic lights on West Canal Street.  Construction is anticipated to be complete within the month.

The City’s Downtown Historical District is changing!  Just as promised we are enhancing the look of Historic Downtown with cobblestone parking, adding nostalgic lights, decorative street signs and custom benches.  In fall of 2013 the Mississippi Development Authority awarded the City a grant to build 16 cobblestone brick parking spaces and install 15 decorative lights along Main Street.  We have recently received additional funding from MDA to add 12 more cobblestone brick parking spaces to the north end of Main Street and approximately 4 cobblestone brick parking spaces on the south end.  The same pavers are found in the Plaza Garden at City Hall.  This parking is greatly appreciated by all the businesses located in the Downtown area.  Our goal is to not only attract new businesses to the industrial park and highway areas but, to attract business to the historic downtown area.  We continue to expand the footprint of ornate lights and signage that you see around City Hall and North Main St. out farther in the City each year as funding allows.  The grass island at the intersection of Main St. and Goodyear Blvd. has a new look.   A Welcome to Historic Downtown Picayune sign recently was placed on the grass island with paving stones and beautiful flowers all around it.  The City has a great partnership with community members, businesses, clubs, and state agencies.  The paperwork involved in grants may take a while, but now we are able to see the results in our City.

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After the purchase and demolition of the “old Crosby Hospital”, Mayor Pinero and City Council members voted on a name for the new greenspace on August 19, 2014.  The new name for this area is “Crosby Commons”.  With already over $500,000.00 in secured grants, we are happy to start construction of this space.  By the middle of September installation will begin on the black wrought iron fence which will surround the 5 acre greenspace.  Other proposed projects are soon to follow for this area.

In my next City Update article I will be discussing improvements to the Gateways of our City.

By Jim Luke