Picayune dedicates a new city hall

PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) - The city of Picayune celebrated a historic milestone Friday. It dedicated a new addition and renovation project at the city's most recognized building: City Hall.

The dedication ceremony mirrored the one held back in 1939 when the original city hall first opened.

When the old city hall building opened 75 years ago it cost the city just $45,000 to build, and it was paid for with cash. The new addition to the building dedicated cost today's administration $1.2 million.

"We're proud to dedicate our new city hall at the A.L. Franklin Complex," Picayune Mayor Ed Pinero said. "This landmark is a tribute to the past, present and future generations of our great city. By the way, did I mention we paid cash?"

The dedication ceremony followed the program from the 1939 event. The Boy Scouts were there to raise the American flag, and the ladies quartet from William Carey University performed.

"We're following the same agenda they did in 1939 with a little flavor of 2013," said Picayune City Manager Jim Luke.

In 1939, Paul B. Johnson was governor of the Magnolia State and marked the occasion. Phil Bryant has that job today.

"What a wonderful historic occasion," Governor Bryant said. "There was a time when I thought I wouldn't be here today. Friends had called Ezell Lee, Mark Formby, others had called and said, 'You need to be at this event. This is important! In 1939, the governor was here. You better be here."

Between the original building and the new addition, almost all city administrative offices and many city services are centrally located at the new and improved city hall, including the city council chambers.

The Reverend Donald Parker of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church had the honor of blessing the building.

"We ask, Heavenly Father, that you would bless this building. Bless it in its future use and we just thank you for it. We ask that you would bless the people who would be employed in this building," Rev. Parker prayed.

Friday's ceremony had everything from politics and prayer, to pastries. Well-known Picayune bakery Paul's Pastry Shop showed off a replica of the city hall building made entirely of cake. It weighed in at 600 pounds and served more than 2,000 guests.

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