Tree decorating sponsors sought, deputy fire chief to retire

Published 8:53 am Wednesday, October 26, 2022

This year, the city of Picayune will offer the community the chance to sponsor a tree that lines the walking track at Crosby Commons, allowing them to decorate that tree in time for Christmas.

Grants Administrator Lisa Albritton said a total of 20 trees are available for sponsorships, which cost $50 each. While the city will provide the lights, the sponsor will have the ability to decorate that tree to their liking.

According to information posted on the city’s social media account, the decorations can stay up until Jan. 6, 2023, but must be complete by Nov. 30, 2022 by 7 p.m.

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The lights will be turned on during a tree lighting ceremony scheduled for Dec. 1, at 5:30 p.m. The event will also feature Santa and Mrs. Claus so children can have their photo taken with the festive couple.

To see if a tree is available, call 601-798-9079.

The Council also approved a motion to accept a change order from J. Patrick Lee Construction LLC totaling $2,179 to extend a sidewalk from the T-ball field to the restroom and concession stand. The cost is due to the unexpected discovery of utilities in that area, said Devin Hedgepeth with Dungan Engineering.

Hedgepeth also asked the Council to consider working with the Pearl River County Utility Authority to complete sewer work to restrooms being constructed at Leola Jordan Park and Friendship Park. The initial plan was to use the contractor as a middle man, but the final execution did not meet up, so Hedgepeth suggested dealing with PRCUA directly. The cost to conduct the work at Leola Jordan is estimated to be $3,500 and the cost at Friendship Park is estimated to be $5,000. Hedgepeth said the discovery was made that a grinder pump is not needed at Leola Jordan and Friendship Park, saving the city about $30,000. While the work at Friendship Park is part of the $1.9 million grant received through BP funds, the work at Leola Jordan is being funded from the operating fund. The Council approved the change.

After being recognized for his decades of service to the city of Picayune, the Council was informed that Picayune Fire Department Deputy Chief Ronny Reynolds will be retiring from the city. He put in 29.5 years with the city, not counting his accrued vacation and sick leave.

Janet Guidry, who has worked with Reynolds during her 31 years with the department, descried Reynolds as part of the family and one of the members with the department she has worked with the longest. Guidry said Reynolds also serves as a volunteer with the Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department.

“Helping others is what he always wanted to do,” Guidry said.

During his time with the department, he assisted in the birth of a child in the back of a vehicle at the Road Runner convenience store.

He took over as deputy chief after the retirement of previous Fire Chief Keith Brown and previous Deputy Chief John Mark Mitchell in 2020. While Pat Weaver took over as fire chief after Brown’s retirement, a replacement for Reynolds was not announced at the meeting.

Reynolds said he enjoyed every minute of his time with the department and will miss it.

The Council approved a motion to allow Reynolds to purchase his badge and helmet for $1.