Mandate in city of Picayune may last until Monday

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The curfew currently in force within Picayune is expected to last until Monday, but city administrators may lift it sooner.
Toward the end of Tuesday’s telephonic City Council meeting, Councilor Wayne Gouguet asked when the city’s curfew would be lifted.
Police Chief Bryan Dawsey said that he had a discussion with City Manager Jim Luke earlier that morning about possibly lifting it on Monday. Dawsey said they are waiting to see what kind of action Governor Tate Reeves takes on Monday. He added that there is a possibility that the curfew will be lifted before Monday. The curfew was put into effect by an executive order from Luke’s office on April 1.
Curfews were not established by the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors, the Poplarville Board of Aldermen or Governor Tate Reeves as a result of executive orders issued by those governing bodies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In relation to the Governor’s lessening of restrictions to allow restaurants to offer dine in service at half capacity, City Clerk Amber Hinton said that the city will not implement anything stronger than what Reeves did this week.
In other matters, the Council approved a motion to acknowledge receipt of a proposed ordinance to grant a non-exclusive electric franchise to Mississippi Power Company. Hinton said an election for that franchise will need to be held. If approved, the city will receive a 3 percent franchise fee instead of 2 percent. Hinton said the election will be held in early August. Details will follow once a date is set in stone.
The Council also approved a motion to surplus a number of sizes and lengths of pipe from the Highway 11 widening project. Public Works Director Eric Morris said the pipe will be sold via an online auction similar to the one used to sell old city vehicles and other items. It was surplused because of a change in the project issued by the Mississippi Department of Transportation that allowed the city to bore instead of having to cut into the ground or asphalt.
Some drainage features in the River Oaks subdivision need repairs. Morris said the ditches in the area are clogged and some of the old storm drains, which possibly date back to the Crosby family, are damaged. The Council approved a motion to allow public works personnel to clean the ditches and repair any damaged storm drains. Morris said the cost would be minimal.
During the end of the meeting, Councilor Lynn Bogan Bumpers asked why another Council member needs to provide input on the installation of bathrooms in a park within her precinct. The discussion concerns construction of a bathroom at Leola Jordan Park along East Canal Street. In the last Council meeting held April 7, Gouguet expressed concern about Bumpers’ plan to put the bathroom at the back corner of the park, which would increase construction costs and create a safety issue since police officers would be hard pressed to see what action was taking place in or around the bathrooms.
In other matters the Council:
— Approved April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
— Approved proclaiming May 3 to 9 as Professional Municipal Clerks Week.
— Accepted a stipend check from Home Fire Coalition totaling $500 to use in the construction of a demonstration display that shows the benefits of installing sprinkler systems in structures.
The Council recessed until May 19, at 5 p.m.

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