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City Council receives update on Kids Kingdom ; Absorbs waste pickup increases during meeting

Michael Williams - WRJW News

Trevor Adam, Director of Picayune Parks and Recreation, came before the Picayune City Council to update them what’s going on at the new Kids Kingdom at Friendship Park.

Mr. Adam said he placed an employee at the park this past weekend to make sure the equipment was being used safely and correctly. He informed the council that 150-200 people were utilizing the playground each day and that they were not only locals, but some visitors from Louisiana and other areas were enjoying the new equipment.

Plans are in place to erect signage stating rules to protect and maintain the park for everyone's enjoyment. Cameras are currently being installed to keep vandalism at bay ,and the turf project will be out for bid during the next two council meetings. A pavilion is part of future plans as the old one was to far gone for repair. Overall, Director Adam says the park has received a positive response and he only see's it gaining in popularity.

An oversight in September of 2020 and September of 2021 had the council revisiting an increase in fees from Coastal Environmental Services (CES). After seeing a request for a 9% increase from CES for this year, City Clerk Sid Albritton went back through the meeting minutes to find past increases. Nothing was found to include a vote in September 2020 and September 2021 to approve the increases.

The year 2020 saw a 2.3% increase. 2021 saw a 1.4% increase in fees. Even though there wasn't a vote, the City absorbed those fees and didn't pass them on to the citizens. This year CES asked for a 9% increase to cover the rising cost of fuel.

The CES contract with the city states they cannot ask for more than 5% per year, and that 5% went into effect on April 1st of this year. The 5% increase adds $3,740 a month to the current bill the city pays.

The Coastal Environmental Services contract runs out and will be up for re-bid on August 31st of this year and City Clerk Sid Albritton asked the board to allow the 5% increase without passing the additional cost to citizens until the bidding process is complete due to the uncertainty of an overall increase or decrease in the final contract. The council was unanimous in voting yes on all 3 increases.



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