• 81°

MDOT to install radio system on Stemwood tower

Picayune’s City Council approved motions to allow the Mississippi Department of Transportation to install a radio system on top of the water tower on Stemwood Drive and the appointment of a board to oversee the local Emergency Food and Shelter Program Phase 37 during a telephonic meeting held Tuesday evening.
According to previous coverage, MDOT would like to install the radio system on the water tower to control traffic light systems in several areas, particularly those in the intersections of Highway 11 adjacent and close to the current widening project. Public Works Director Eric Morris said the system is part of the widening project for Highway 11 currently underway.
Previous coverage states the system will allow MDOT to make adjustments to the traffic light patterns remotely from the department’s main office. Traffic cameras would be installed at the affected intersections to help with traffic light patterns, but the cameras would not be used to enforce traffic violations, previous coverage states.
City Clerk Amber Hinton also presented the Council with a financial forecast for 2021, which she said takes into account a projected 5 percent reduction in sales tax collections and seven percent reduction in tourism tax collections.
Grants Administrator Christy Goss presented the Council with a request to appoint a board of local community members to oversee the Emergency Food and Shelter Program Phase 37 and Phase Cares Funding. Goss said that the former is annual funding used by Manna Ministries and Christian Care Ministries to assist those who need help in the community, and the latter is funding established in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
During discussion of the matter, Councilor Larry Breland asked that the current board be abolished because “it is not diversified enough” so a new one can be established.
Goss said the plan is to create a new board that include representatives from local churches, the American Red Cross and a number of other organizations.
In other business, the Council
— Acknowledged May 10 to 16 as Police Week and May 15 as Police Officers Memorial Day.
— Approved a change order to add two inch water meters to the current water system improvement project. Jonathan Hickman with Dungan Engineering said the larger meters are needed because a number of businesses along Beech Street and the Early Head Start facility currently have two inch water meters.
The next Council meeting will be June 2. Mayor Ed Pinero said that a determination whether to hold the meeting by telephone or in person will be made closer to that date.