Poplarville plans for new year

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A PRODUCTIVE YEAR: Along with new businesses, upgrades to city facilities, Poplarville’s splash pad opened in 2015. File photo

A PRODUCTIVE YEAR: Along with new businesses, upgrades to city facilities, Poplarville’s splash pad opened in 2015.
File photo

In 2016, Poplarville city leaders are looking forward to completing and beginning new projects that will benefit the residents.
In 2015, the city was awarded more than half-a-million dollars in grant funds, which helped city leaders improve existing structures and build new ones, Poplarville Mayor Brad Necaise said.
In August, the splash pad opened at the city’s park. The new amenity was made possible with grants from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation and the Poplarville Rotary Club. Poplarville dentist Dr. Jason Estep and his wife Shannon also donated funding. Many businesses also sold supplies to the city at cost, including Holliday Construction, Dixie Wholesale Waterworks, Inc. and Bi E’s Sod, the mayor said.
“We wanted to provide an opportunity to give children the chance to disengage from electronics and be active for health and wellness,” Necaise said in August. “The splash pad gives them the opportunity to do that outdoors in the water where it’s not so hot.”
Through a partnership with Media3, the city was able to offer Wi-Fi access downtown from 101 N. Main St. to 104 W. Magnolia St., Necaise said.
Also in 2015, the Poplarville Recycling Depot opened its doors at the corner of Dauphine St. and Martin Luther King Drive. The depot features three recycling receptacles for aluminum and two types of plastic. It was made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the mayor said.
Improvements were made to playground equipment at the city’s park and the Poplarville Public Library to bring the structures up to ADA-compliant standards. The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors also donated $20,000 to the construction, Necaise said.
The library’s front entrance was revamped to include handicap parking and wheelchair accessible ramps and doorways, he said.
Grant funds also purchased turnout gear and infrared cameras for the fire department. The police department also received bulletproof vests and up-to-date digital radio equipment, Necaise said.
The city also entered into a partnership with Pearl River Community College’s automotive and truck-driving program.
“The students service our police cars,” Necaise said. “This save the city money and provides training for the students. With the truck-driving program, students deliver goods to the recycling center and earn credit for the CDLs.”
In June, Love’s Travel Stop opened its doors in Poplarville. The facility is located at Exit 29 off of I-59 and Hwy. 26. The business features a convenience store, truck and tire care center and an Arby’s restaurant, according to Item coverage from March.
The structure at the fairgrounds at the corner of Highway 26 and Highway 11, which showcases local rodeo heroes, was rebuilt, Necaise said.
In June 2015, Poplarville became an Excel By 5 community, which will give children a solid foundation prior to entering kindergarten, an Item article from June states.
“This was one of our most successful and productive years, both fiscally and with the completion of special projects,” Necaise said. “All to make Poplarville a better place to live, work and do business.”
Monday, the city welcomed new police chief Butch Raby and new city clerk, Jane O’Neal.
The mayor has many goals for the new year, which include working with the Stennis Institute.
“I was one of six mayors selected to attend the mayors forum in February, which is sponsored by the Stennis Institute,” Necaise said. “I will receive training and support designed to weave the fabric of PRCC and the historic downtown area together. Also, I will be working with a group of volunteers with the Mississippi Strategic Doers program and the citizens will get to choose a special project they want to do.”
Recently, the city was awarded $135,000 grant from the Mississippi Small Municipalities Limited Population Counties program, he said. When the funds are received, they will be used to purchase a lot downtown.
“We are also looking forward to partnering with the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors and the Mississippi Department of Transportation to improve some of our failing streets, including Main Street under the train tracks and Beers Street,” Necaise said.
The mayor said city leaders anticipate a partnership with the University of Mississippi Trent Lott Center for Economic Development, he said.
Also on 2016’s agenda is finding a resolution to the rehabilitation of the old City Hall building located at 101 S. Main St., Necaise said.
“We have a lot of things to continue to work on from the previous year as we continue to keep our sights on future projects for residents in the 39470 zip code,” Necaise said. “I also look forward to a healthy relationship with Picayune, the county and the state.”


A PRODUCTIVE YEAR: Along with new businesses, upgrades to city facilities, Poplarville’s splash pad opened in 2015.  File photo

A PRODUCTIVE YEAR: Along with new businesses, upgrades to city facilities, Poplarville’s splash pad opened in 2015.
File photo