Picayune leaders planning beautification projects

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 31, 2015

When Picayune city officials met Tuesday to discuss projects set for 2016, Public Works Director Eric Morris also spoke about additional projects aimed to improve the city’s grounds and beautification in the new year.

Morris said January and February are considered “down months,” which allows the city to focus on any landscaping repairs that need to be done citywide.

“To the end of December, we’re getting ready to put up Christmas decorations, getting ready for Christmas on the Rails and then when we get to January and February, if we’ve got any landscaping projects now is the time to do it because when March comes, that’s when we start getting ready to gear up for grass cutting and planting spring flowers,” Morris said.

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One of the landscaping projects is redoing the flowerbed at the city’s east entrance, located at the intersection of Highway 43 South and East Canal Street.

“The landscaping in front of the city of Picayune sign has matured to where it’s blocking the sign. We’re going to rip that out and put something in that’s lower where you can see the sign,” Morris said.

The department also plans to improve the city’s sidewalks after conducting a self-assessment this past summer on the sidewalks in accordance with the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. Morris said they plan to clean up the sidewalks from overgrown bushes and grass, tree limbs, add ADA compliant features and fix any cracks, Morris said.

Picayune City Manager Jim Luke and Morris said they’ve researched nearby small towns such as Ocean Springs and Fairhope, Alabama to learn how to create more of a Southern charm atmosphere in Picayune.

“Those towns have a warm Southern charm type atmosphere and a good quality of life. But we don’t want to be them, we want people to say, ‘have you been to Picayune?’,” Luke said.

While there’s room for growth, Luke said they’re heading in the right direction to create a city filled with Southern charm, especially in the historic downtown area with the addition of benches, flower beds, brick parking lots and the old-fashioned clock on Main Street.