Picayune City Council: Approves Community Projects and Recognizes Local Organizations

Published 11:04 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Picayune City Council convened on Tuesday, with all members present except Councilman Larry Breland. Key items on the agenda included recognizing Hope Haven and approving several community initiatives.

Hope Haven was acknowledged as a Child Advocacy Center serving Pearl River and Hancock counties. It collaborates with the District Attorney’s Office, Poplarville Police Department, Picayune Police Department, Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department, and Child Protective Services. Captain Rhonda Johnson, commander of the criminal investigations unit at Picayune PD, received the Law Enforcement Award for her service. The Police Chief noted Hope Haven’s significant role in presenting cases to the District Attorney.

Roseland Park Elementary’s Gifted Program students presented on their group, Ground Up Group. They emphasized soil health and plant care and requested the Council’s support for a public viewing of the movie “Common Ground” to raise awareness of their initiative.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The non-profit organization Kids of Pearl River County announced a partnership with the Picayune Chamber of Commerce. Jose Lopez stated the goal to work with existing organizations, choosing Backpack Buddies for their collaboration. Jade Crow, President of Kids of PRC, announced a kickball fundraiser scheduled for Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM at Friendship Park. The city will donate the park’s softball fields for the event.

The Picayune Utilities Authority discussed the potential need for rate adjustments due to a projected $207,000 deficit if no changes are made. The last adjustment was in 2021, and a professor from Mississippi State University led a recent rate study to address the issue.

Mayor Jim Luke left the meeting early due to a prior engagement. The City Council approved a contract with the South Mississippi Planning and Development District (SMPDD) for participation in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Youth Program, funding youth service workers for grant administration and Parks and Recreation.

The Council also approved a summer camp program at Friendship Park, led by the Mayor’s Youth Council. The camp will accommodate 50 children, divided between grades 1-3 and 4-6, and run for three days from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Funding for the camp, capped at $2,500, will come from the grant administration budget.

The city secured a grant of $53,804.88 from the Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRVF) for community park enhancement projects and $176,000 for amenities at The Oaks at Crosby Commons.

The city has also won an award from the Mississippi Municipal League, which will be presented later.