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City Council conduct business via teleconference during pandemic

Picayune’s City Council conducted business via teleconference Tuesday night, where Councilors approved a motion to continue the previously issued emergency declaration that has asked citizens to remain home during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Also during the meeting, the Council discussed a change to the contract with AAA Ambulance Service which includes an additional 24 hour ambulance and approved a motion to seek bids for a citywide paving project.
Fire Chief Keith Brown said the new ambulance contract, which has been in place for about three months, provides the additional ambulance to the Picayune area. That change in the contract brings the total ambulances in the county to five working 24 hours. Brown said that the contract still includes a 12 hour ambulance and a sprint truck.
In relation to the city wide paving project, the Council approved a motion to seek bids for a base project along with some alternates. Before a vote was taken, Councilor Wayne Gouguet expressed concern that Goodyear Boulevard and Memorial Boulevard were not in the base project, only included as alternates. Gouguet said he hopes that the bids will come in lower than expected for the base project, which according to previous coverage would focus more on residential areas, providing some extra funding for the two major boulevards.
If the bids don’t allow for work along those two boulevards, Gouguet said the Council should consider finding that funding.
The Council also discussed, but took no action on, the construction of bathrooms at Friendship Park and Leola Jordan Park. Jonathan Hickman with Dungan Engineering said the bathrooms at Friendship Park could cost between $42,000 to $62,000 and the bathrooms at Leola Jordan could range between $38,000 to $55,000, all dependent on the types of materials used and the location of the structures in relation to city sewer and water connections.
During the Miscellaneous Council Member’s Business portion of the meeting, Councilor Larry Breland asked if city employee pay would be negatively affected due to the ongoing pandemic. City Clerk Amber Hinton said that all city employees will “be made whole.”
In other business, the Council:
— Approved motions to appoint Manya Creel as the city prosecutor and Tara Kellar as city prosecutor pro temp.
— Awarded a city lawn maintenance contract to Gulf Breeze Landscaping LLC for $94,682.86 annually.
The next Council meeting will be April 21 at 5 p.m.