Compromise brings fence to Picayune’s Eighth Street Cemetery

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A new fence will be installed at the Eighth Street Cemetery within the city of Picayune, but it won’t be the wrought iron style version originally requested by two Council members.

However, it will include four foot tall black vinyl coated chain link fencing with estate style entrance gates. Total cost for the project will be just under $31,000, a stark difference from the $70,000 it would have cost to install Councilor Larry Breland’s original request of wrought iron style fencing similar to that which was installed around the city’s newest cemetery on Palestine Road.

By installing the fencing, concerns of vandalism and unauthorized access will be addressed. Public Works Director Eric Morris said that while the fencing will face the street side, the rest of the cemetery will be protected with the adjacent dense wood line.

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A motion to install the fencing described in Tuesday’s agenda item was approved unanimously.

Morris said he will order the materials the following day, and expects visible aspects of the work to commence within the next 30 days.

Loud applause and cheers could be heard from the standing room only crowd that filled the Council chambers that night.

At the end of the meeting Pastor Brian Dees commended the Council for approving installation of the fencing.

When the Council got Breland’s request to apply for grant funding from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation to conduct improvements at all city parks, the Council’s 4-2 vote against the matter drew moans from the crowd. Breland and Councilwoman Lynn Bogan Bumpers voted for the matter, with Mayor Ed Pinero Jr., Wayne Gouguet, Tammy Valente and Jan Miller Stevens voting against.

Breland would later ask for the reasoning behind his fellow Council members voting against the matter, but none were offered.

But, Gouguet did ask City Clerk Amber Hinton to provide him with a reevaluation of the city’s cemetery plot prices. He said that the price for one of the few plots left at the Eighth Street Cemetery was $100, while plots at the Palestine Cemetery were $200. When he suggested going as high as $500 or $600 per plot, the moans and jeers from the crowd were audible.

Gouguet responded with, “Nothing’s free in this world.”

His comment drew even more moans from the crowd, prompting Pinero to call order to the meeting and say he wanted to keep things positive.

For more on Tuesday’s meeting, see Thursday’s edition of the Item.