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City Council approves budget

The Picayune City Council approved the city’s budget for the coming fiscal year at last night’s meeting, but not before three of the council members asked specific questions about grass cutting and drainage work discussed during their recent budget workshop.

Councilman Wayne Gouguet asked City Clerk Amber Hinton if the budget included money to ensure the grass at the entrances to the city (around the interstate exits including Memorial Blvd and Highway 43 North) was in the budget?

Hinton and Director of Public Works Eric Morris both replied yes to Gouguet’s initial question. Gouguet then specifically asked if that meant every two weeks? Morris responded, “Our goal is bi-weekly on the entrances to the city.”

Councilperson Tammy Valente asked Hinton, “Do we have a plan, as far as the money set aside to actually have that taken care of? I want to make sure that is taken care of in the budget. It’s important enough not to vote for the budget.”

City Clerk Amber Hinton (below) answers a question

Gouguet was under the impression that the city used to cut the entrances bi-weekly, but Morris said that has not been the case since he has worked with the city and the grass in those areas has been cut

Hinton answered, “Yes, we have a plan and funds to incorporate that plan in the budget.”

Valente followed up “It’s not a detriment to any other service or taking away from any other service?” Hinton said no it wasn’t, but they had to “tweak some things.”

Gouguet asked what capital improvements were proposed in the budget and Hinton told him that most of them were ones already approved by the council with the exception of court software. Hinton listed the new fire station at the end of Goodyear Blvd, Memorial Blvd drainage projects, and a few things from the utility project.

Councilman Larry Breland asked if drainage improvements for the Ponderosa subdivision were included in the budget as well money to maintain the parks?

Morris told Breland that if the budget contained the additional manpower discussed earlier (during the workshop) for the Streets and Drainage Department, the city will be able to get the work done immediately. But if it was not, Morris stated it will be taken care of, but it will not be taken care immediately. Morris said he didn’t know if they got the extra people in the Streets and Drainage Department. Hinton said that would be part of a plan for capital improvements that would be presented to the council and incorporated at a later date.

On the parks, Morris said that if everything else goes as planned, the plan is to cut the parks and the entrances to the city on a bi-weekly basis.

The council voted unanimously to approve the budget.


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