Subdivision discussion turns into tense words

Michael Williams - WRJW


A discussion on a proposed subdivision turned heated at last nights meeting of the Picayune City Council. A request was submitted to approve a preliminary plan for the Guy-Hicks Subdivision 2 which consists of 15 lots located on Neal Road. A roadblock was reached at a past meeting regarding this property due to its proximity to a now closed business which had underground fuel storage tanks.


The council had asked for soil samples to be taken and tested by MDEQ or the EPA before they would allow any plans to be approved. It was discovered that neither of these agencies do this type of sampling and use certain testing facilities, which are approved, to handle these cases.


During discussions, it was found that while samples were taken, tested, and no contamination found; the samples were taken and sent in by one of the property owners.


Attorney Nicholas Thompson, advising on behalf of recused City Attorney Nathan Farmer , explained that there was no way of knowing if the samples taken were from the property in question.

One of the property owners, Laverne Guy, was allowed to speak and explained how the council is holding up of this project and it was costing him valuable time and considerable expense. At one point Mr. Guy began asking questions of people in attendance and with that, Mayor Jim Luke shut him down and told Mr Guy that he was not running this meeting and asked him to sit down. Laverne Guy stated that the Mayor wasn't running the meeting either and since he was on the agenda he had every right to speak.


Mayor Luke asked Attorney Thompson for his legal opinion on what was said and he stated that the Mayor was indeed in charge of the meeting and it was the will of the Council to allow persons to speak who are not on the public comment section of the agenda.


Luke then asked the council if they had any comments on the matter and Councilwoman Lynn Bumpers made a motion that it be tabled until she could hold a meeting with citizens of the area to get their concerns noted so she could bring those findings to the other members. That motion was passed unanimously. No date has been set for that meeting as of now.

@WRJW