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City council accepts MDOT grant to complete Highland Parkway sidewalks with approximately $50K match

During Wednesday’s meeting of the Picayune City Council, the council approved a request to accept a grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) in the amount of $144,315.00 for constructing sidewalks on Highland Parkway. The project’s total cost is $194,825.25.

Jonathan Hickman of Dungan Engineering, representing the City Engineer’s office, said that MDOT grants are normally an 80 / 20 match, but there are engineering services and related work for this project that will not be covered the grant. The City of Picayune will be responsible for the approximate difference of $50,000.00.

Jonathan Hickman (left) fields a question from Wayne Gouguet.

The project will continue the sidewalks on north side of Highland Parkway from just behind Trinity Methodist Church to the intersection at Highway 11 (near Highland Community Hospital). This project was originally submitted to MDOT to include lights for the roadway as well, but MDOT notified the city that the grant was approved for funding but without the lights.

Councilman Wayne Gouguet stated that the next time the city is eligble for MDOT money that work on projects in the old town area such as a pedestrian walkway across the railroad tracks or completing the lighting on West Canal Street. Council members Tammy Valente and Janice Miller Stevens expressed a need for sidewalks in the area of Roseland Park Elementary School and would hope the city will be able to find funding for sidewalk related projects in that area in the future. Councilperson Lyn Bogan Bumpers said that the sidewalks on East Canal are in need of repair as well. Brooks Wallace, of Dungan Engineering, explained that many older grant programs are now part of TAP (Transportation Alternatives Program) and that would be the avenue the city would need to go to look for grant funding in relation to sidewalks.

According to documentation on MDOT’s website, the TAP was established under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) of 2012 and replaces the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP), Safe Routes to School Program (SRSP), as well as the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), but governs and funds projects of the same type as those in the past under TEP, SRSP, and RTP.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the council recognized the Picayune Maroon Tide 7 & 8 year old football team (pictured above) that captured the Mississippi Gulf Coast Youth football championship the past two years with a 22 and zero record. They have only allowed 6 touchdowns in two seasons while competing against 25 other teams in the league.


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