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City Council gets good news on land lease; signs agreement on new police department building

Michael Williams - WRJW News

The Picayune City Council received some good news at last night's meeting. Back on January 3rd, which was the council's first meeting of the new year, members were informed that the lease agreement between Norfolk Southern Railroad and the City of Picayune for the land running along Main Street that now contains the three parking areas, would be increasing in price to $3,000 per year.

Assistant City Manager Eric Morris told the Council during Tuesday’s meeting that after many phone calls to Norfolk Southern, an official with the company stated via email that the City would only be charged $300 per year for the lease. While great news, the price could see an increase in future years due to fluctuations in the consumer price index set by the federal government.

The council also heard about a big ticket item at last night's meeting as well. The council agreed to enter into a lease/purchase agreement with the Southern Mississippi Investment Company for the construction of a new police station.

Back in September of 2021, the City Council approved a general obligation bond to not exceed $7 million for the construction of the Police Department. Troy Johnson with Butler Snow explained to the council that entering into a lease/purchase would be more beneficial to the city due to decent 20 year interest rates of between 4.10% and 4.20% and to lock down prices on materials needed for construction.

Once the lease is shopped around to different banks and lenders, the council will be presented with an official total of the cost to be approved at a later meeting. This lease purchase agreement will not be secured by taxes and payments will come from the general fund.


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