Council adjusts budget, approves ordinance change

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 18, 2016

Picayune’s City Council approved a motion to increase their current budget from $12.1 million to $12.3 million during Tuesday’s meeting.
The $130,525 increase to the budget will cover some shortfalls, City Clerk Amber Hinton said.
The Council also approved, within the same motion, to move funding around in various departments to cover areas where more money came in than expected, or less was received than expected. One of those changes involved increasing the public works capital outlay fund to reflect their contribution for the completion of Highland Parkway. That line item had no funds budgeted when approved by the council before the beginning of this fiscal year, but now has $128,500 budgeted. The Council and Board of Supervisors approved motions earlier this year to contribute funding to help complete the road, which ties Sycamore Road with U.S. 11.
In the water department, $5,000 was moved from the supplies budget repair the water well at the city barn, Hinton said.
In other business, the Council approved a motion to change the city ordinance pertaining to home occupation licenses. Previously, each request went through Planning and Zoning Director Diane Miller’s office before being sent to the Planning Commission. After that, the matter is brought before the City Council.
Now, many requests will skip one of those steps. Miller said any conditional use requests involving a home-operated business applying for a permit to use their home as office space, that won’t bring additional traffic to the residential area, will not have to go before the Planning Commission. However, if the business operating from the home would potentially bring additional traffic to the area, notification to the residents in the surrounding area would occur before the request would go before the Planning Commission.
The change to the city ordinance also removes the option for the home-operated business owner to display a sign in their window, Miller said.
A motion to approve the ordinance change was approved the Council.
A road in Picayune will now honor the memory of the late Mary Ellen Formby Davis. What is currently known as Seventh Avenue will soon be renamed Formby Davis Avenue. It was renamed because of Davis’ long-time involvement with the Picayune Housing Authority’s whose office is now located on that street.
The Council also approved a motion to advertise for bids to conduct water distribution improvements in the city. City Engineer Vernon Moore said the affected areas, including Fourth Avenue, Pine Street, North Monroe Avenue, Neal Road and Fifth Street, among others, will receive water line improvements. Moore said the work will tie in with other water system improvement work in the city. He estimates the repairs to cost about $500,000.
As for the budget workshop planned for today, Hinton said it was cancelled because she plans to present a budget similar to the one adopted last year by the Council. She said the Council will take the proposed budget under advisement at their next meeting set for Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall.

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