Council approves installation of five water fountains at city parks

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Tuesday’s Picayune City Council was dominated with discussion of whether to install water fountains at several city parks.

That discussion concerned installing water fountains at JP Johnson, Snyder, Ben Taylor and Leola Jordan parks.

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Councilor Larry Breland asked that the matter be added to Tuesday’s agenda because he and Councilor Lynn Bogan Bumpers feel the amenities are needed at the parks to provide a source of water to those playing basketball at the parks.

The total cost of the water fountains at all parks is estimated to be $6,400, which would come out of the city’s cash reserve fund.

Concern about previous attempts to provide water fountains to park goers was the point of contention debated between Councilors before it was ultimately approved.

Parks and Recreation Director Trevor Adam said water fountains installed at Friendship Park were eventually removed and capped off after they were vandalized several times. Mayor Ed Pinero expressed concern about the sanitary nature of public water fountains, pointing out that at times people spit chewing tobacco in them and that they breed bacteria.

Bumpers and Breland feel the water fountains will allow children playing at the parks access to water during hot summers.

After about 15 minutes of discussion, the Council took a vote, with Breland, Bumpers, Tammy Valente and Janice Miller Stevens voting for the fountains and Pinero abstaining. Councilor Wayne Gouguet was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

The approval will mean two fountains will be installed at J.P. Johnson Park, and one each will be installed at Snyder, Ben Taylor and Leola Jordan.

A motion was also passed to enter into a lease agreement with Southern Regional Corporation so the city can store maintenance equipment that will be used at Crosby Commons. The property in question is located on South Magnolia Street across from Crosby Commons. Public Works Director Eric Morris said the lease is for three years and will come at minimal expense to the city. In exchange for the city’s use of the facility, the city will tear down an old doublewide trailer on the lot and agree to keep the property maintained.

Morris said the only expense to the city will involve tearing down the building, requiring city employee pay and fuel to run the city equipment.

Adam also provided the Council with an update concerning sponsorships for the installation of brick backstops at Friendship Park’s baseball fields. He said a total of six businesses have expressed interest, four of which have provided a donation, and the remaining two have made verbal promises.

Adam also said the Picayune Youth Athletics Association has indicated it will provide a sponsorship, but details won’t be worked out until registration for the upcoming season is finalized.

Opening day for PYAA games is set for March 17. Adam said he would like to have the Buddy Ball program play the first game that day to expose local families to the program.

The next Council meeting will be Feb. 20 at 5 p.m. in City Hall.