Council asked to provide additional funding to Senior Center

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Picayune’s City Council accepted the donation of land and heard a request from the director of the Senior Center of South Pearl River County for more funding during Tuesday’s meeting.

The donation of land consists of about 2.5 acres that adjoin and are across the street from Fire Station 1 on Adcox Road.

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Fire Chief Keith Brown said the donation addresses an issue concerning property ownership where an addition to the station constructed in the early 90s sits on property not owned by the city.

Brown said the issue was discovered while conducting a survey of the property to prepare for the construction of a fence. During that survey it was discovered that about a third of the station was sitting on another piece of property.

The owner of the property decided to donate it to the city since it can’t be developed due to being in wetlands. Brown said the city has no plans to use that property for additions to the station.

In other business, Fr. Jonathan Filkins, president of the Board of Directors for the Senior Center of South Pearl River County, spoke to the Council about the adversities of growing older. When he finished his story, Senior Center Executive Director David Sykes spoke about the importance of a community having a senior center and how participation at Picayune’s Center has continued to grow.

Since he became the director, Sykes said he has seen a 15 percent increase in membership and a 35 percent increase in average daily attendance. Of the about 450 members, daily attendance has grown from 48 to 65. Not only does the Center provide a place for senior citizens to engage in social activities, it also provides free lunches to its members. In 2016 the Center served 7,800 meals. This year that number increased to 11,500 and he expects it to continue to grow next year to about 12,000.

Sykes said that due to those figures, he requests the Council consider providing more funding as the city prepares to form a new budget in the next couple of months.

In other business the Council:

— Approved travel for City Manager Jim Luke and City Clerk Amber Hinton to attend the International City Manager’s Association conference set for Oct. 20 to 23 in Nashville, Tenn.

— Approved travel for Brown to attend the National Association of Fire Chief’s conference on Aug. 7 to 10 in Atlanta, Ga.

— Adopted new flood hazard maps to include the new map panels in the State of Mississippi Flood Damage Prevention ordinance of the city.

The next meeting will be Aug. 20 at 5 p.m.