Picayune City Council Approves Tax Abatement, Receives Legal Victory

Published 11:35 am Friday, March 22, 2024

The Picayune City Council convened on March 19, 2024, with all council members present, although Mayor Jim Luke had to leave early due to a scheduling conflict.

Kodie Koenenn, Government Relations Director for MDOT District 6, addressed the council, offering a direct line of communication to both council members and Picayune residents. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to speak on short notice and thanked the council for their service.

The council approved a resolution and application request by Creekside West Canal for the Downtown Historic Abatement program. This program allows the commission to exempt municipal ad valorem taxes for up to seven years on new renovations and improvements to existing buildings and structures in the Historic Picayune District, whether commercial or residential.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Attorney Ed Taylor provided an update on a recent Mississippi Supreme Court ruling. The case, involving architectural and construction issues, resulted in a mistrial during jury selection. The trial judge initially ruled against the city, awarding a $210,000 judgment. However, the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed the ruling, exonerating all parties associated with the city.

Taylor commended City Manager Jim Luke for fulfilling his duties and expressed confidence that the judgment would not be reversed. The council and Mayor expressed appreciation for Taylor and his team’s efforts.

A request to Mill and Overlay Toquet Street and Richard Street using hot-mix asphalt was brought before the council but still needs to pass. Council members Ford, Stevens, and Turnage voted against it, citing budgetary constraints agreed upon not to be spent on capital improvements.

The Police Department was approved to apply for the Norfolk Southern Safety-First Grant, designed to support organizations promoting community safety. Additionally, they were authorized to accept a CVSA III (Computer Voice Stress Analyzer) from Operation Railroad, valued at $10,995.00.