Takeaways from Picayune City Council Meeting
Representative of Jeremiah Project Inc. and Church Administrator of Resurrection Life Church, Billy Martin
Public Works Director, Eric Morris, introduced a proposal of the grand landscaping project for Crosby Commons Park, at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
The proposal included 28 new trees and numerous benches to be included in the new landscaping. Morris and his team selected species of trees such as willow oaks, craig myrtles, and lacebark Elm trees, Red Maple trees will also be planted at the Crosby Commons Entrances on Goodyear Boulevard and 6th Avenue, that are native to the area and would work best. These trees will be placed predominantly around the outside of the track with only vegetation on the inside of the track being Holly trees.
“A lot of research went into the selection of these trees,” Morris said. “Some mature a little faster than others but they are all streetscape trees that will work in the locations where they have been planned to be put.”
The corners of the park, will include four feet steel benches in similar style to those in front of Crosby Commons Park entrance, decorated with two encore azalea trees on each end, which grow to a maximum height of three feet. In addition, flat, backless, serpentine benches, will be added to the center of the park.
In addition to landscaping Morris’ proposal also included a plan to limit or eliminate the impact of this project on the city’s funds. The opportunity for the interested public to purchase a bench, whichever style, or any of the trees, in memory of someone who has passed or in honor of someone who is still living, for a fee. The fee would include the cost and labor associated with whichever bench or tree someone may choose to purchase, offsetting some of the cost for the city.
“I just want to make sure that everyone was happy with the plan, and that all concerns were met tonight,” Morris said. “Then hopefully we can adopt this at the next meeting and put it in motion.”
Also during the meeting, Representative of Jeremiah Project Inc. and Church Administrator of Resurrection Life Church, Billy Martin, came to the Council to ask the city for help with infrastructure on East Jerusalem Avenue.
Resurrection Life Church currently has a plan to expand the development on East Jerusalem Avenue. The development project, which includes building a hotel, goes from where East Jerusalem Avenue connects to Memorial Boulevard to where the road ends.
Martin requested that the council consider collaborating in building and developing the road, and continue with future assistance such as road and utility maintenance. Martin also mentioned an option for a Tax Incentive Program, also known as a ‘TIP’.
“Whether we do the tip or the city does the tip, it doesn’t matter. We want to get that hotel completed and done with,” Martin said.
According to Council Member Wayne Gouguet, the city has been in talks with Resurrection Life Church over getting access to the other side of the church’s property and provide a service road to connect to I-59.
“What I’m excited about is the possibility of building this road and getting a hotel because it’s going to open up a lot of property between the Shell Station and where this hotel is going to be,” said Gouget.
Council member Gouguet also seemed enthusiastic about the prospect of future growth in the area south of the hotel towards the interstate.
Under the advisement of Mayor Ed Pinero, the council agreed to send City Manager Jim Luke, city engineers and Public Works Director Eric Morris to the road in order to see what might be done or what is required.