By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

PICAYUNE, Miss. (AP) - Rehabilitating old city buildings and restoring failing streets are among the numerous projects aimed at improving the city in 2016, the mayor of Poplarville says.

Mayor Brad Necaise announced that the city has a variety of improvement projects lined up this year, The Picayune Item ( reports.

Necaise said he one of the biggest items he has planned is working with the Stennis Institute, a service and research arm of Mississippi State University.

“I was one of six mayors selected to attend the mayors’ forum in February, which is sponsored by the Stennis Institute,” Necaise said. “I will receive training and support designed to weave the fabric of PRCC (Pearl River Community College) and the historic downtown area together.”

Recently, he said the city was also awarded a $135,000 grant from the Mississippi Small Municipalities Limited Population Counties program that will be used to purchase a lot downtown.

In addition, he added the city will partner with the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors and the Mississippi Department of Transportation to improve some of the city’s failing streets. Another revitalization project in development is making upgrades to the old city hall building.

The mayor said he anticipates additional partnerships with the volunteer group Mississippi Strategic Doers program and the University of Mississippi Trent Lott Center for Economic Development.

The new projects follow various developments the city completed in 2015. Necaise said Poplarville was awarded more than $500,000 in grant funds last year that also helped city leaders improve existing structures and build new ones.

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