City moves forward with more gas line repairs

Published 6:36 am Wednesday, November 4, 2015

By Jesse Wright

Picayune Item

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In a display of speed and efficiency, the Picayune City Council got its first monthly meeting out of the way in a mere 15 minutes.

The agenda was light, though there was one big-ticket item, a request by the city’s engineer to approve the design and construction phase of a new gas main replacement project. Engineer Vernon Moore told the council the whole project is likely to cost in the neighborhood of $650,000, and it will replace meters north of town, or about 50 percent of the old meters that still need to be replaced.

The city has already replaced many of the gas lines in Picayune.

“Like we did in the city, we’re going to see some savings in lost gas,” said Councilman Wayne Gouguet.

The problem with the old piping is that it leaks, and after the meeting Gouguet explained that once the leaks are stopped, the reduction is wasted gas will pay for the project.

“Even if it’s just $50,000 or $20,000 per month (loss), that’s going to be over a 20 year period,” he said, explaining the projected lifetime of the new system.

In other news, the city council approved the purchase of a new mower for the public works department, sale of surplus vehicles seized by the police department, a $1,000 grant from Walmart and two T-Hangar leases for the airport.

 Airport Director and Manager Andy Greenwood told the council the airport has leased or rented out a majority of the hangars.

“We were at 50 percent and we’re now around 66 percent,” Greenwood said.

The meeting closed with a request by Councilwoman Tammy Valente who is seeking space for the annual Toys for Tots toy drive.

“Every year Toys for Tots does tremendous things for our community by bringing toys to children who wouldn’t otherwise have toys,” she said. “But every year I have to search for a building.”

She asked if anyone has a space to store the toys and act as a base of operations for the group, the building owner would get a tax write-off equal to the rent that would normally be collected. Valente said the group could pay for utilities.

Cade Travis, who was in the audience, spoke up and said, “The Shrine Bingo Hall might be available.”

Valente asked who would she need to see about getting it, and he told her he was the one to see.

After the meeting, he said he would be happy to donate the space.

“We have no problem,” he said.

With that, the meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be Nov. 17 at City Hall at 5 p.m.