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Picayune City Council holds first meeting of 2015

TEAM CHAOS: Members of Picayune School District’s First Robotics Team present the details of their design for a robotic drain camera to the Picayune City Council. Photo by Dart Spiers

TEAM CHAOS: Members of Picayune School District’s First Robotics Team present the details of their design for a robotic drain camera to the Picayune City Council.
Photo by Dart Spiers

Students from the Picayune School District’s First Robotics Team gave a presentation to the Picayune City Council on Tuesday, requesting permission to build a robotic drain camera for the Public Works Department.

The students said they have designed a robot that would be able to investigate storm drains throughout the city with the use of an attached waterproof GoPro camera. In their presentation, they asked the council’s permission to build the robot with an estimated budget of $2,000.

The students said their team would initially fund the project, asking for reimbursement from the city at the completion of each phase. The group added that the cost of the robot they would design is minimal compared to Picayune’s current use of an industrial robot.

After asking a few brief questions concerning the timeline of the project and the total cost, the council voted unanimously to approve the request.

Also at the meeting, the council voted to adopt a resolution requesting the amendment of Mississippi Code 67-1-5.

“We are petitioning the legislature to clarify the portion of the Mississippi Code which authorizes the city of Picayune to have qualified resort areas in our town,” said Picayune City Attorney Nathan Farmer, “The statute that was adopted by the legislature and approved by the governor is ambiguous and could lead to potentially costly litigation.”

“We’re asking for clarification of the ambiguity,” said Farmer, “Right now the statute read that the whole city is a qualified resort area.”

Pearl River County resident Buddy McDonald expressed lengthy concerns to adopting this resolution, which was ultimately passed by the council unanimously.

The council also opened a public hearing to discuss cleanup af a number of properties within the city. The properties at 416 Quince St., 839 Herring Drive and 410 North Curran Ave. were declared public nuisances, while the owners of the properties located at 1100 South Beech St., 110 South Jackson Ave. and 844 Herring Drive were all given deadline extensions of varying length to clean the properties.

At the meeting’s conclusion, a citizen submitted a complaint concerning the sand-drying plant on South Beech Street. The citizen claimed the plant was loud at all hours of the night and was disturbing the neighborhood.

Also at the meeting, the council:

–       Approved out of state travel for City Manager Jim Luke, Police Chief Bryan Dawsey and Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri to attend the ROCIC Conference in Mobile, Ala. from Mar. 22-25, 2015.

–       Accepted a request from the fire department to accept a donation check of $178.38 from Fred’s Dollar Store that will be used to buy handouts for senior citizens and children.

–       Authorized out of state travel for Fire Chief Keith Brown to attend the International Association of Fire Chiefs board meeting in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Jan. 21-24, 2015, with the IAFC covering all costs.

–       Approved the request to amend thepersonnel policy to allow an equal number of annual holiday leave hours for each employee every year, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

The Picayune City Council will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 20 at City Hall on Goodyear Boulevard.