Posted on Sep 30, 2019
Many thanks to this year's Leadership Pinebelt group, G3, for providing our program on Tuesday. Pictured L-R are: Trina McAlister, Ronnie Venable, LaTreaka Rankin, and Rotary Club President, Steven Utroska.
President Steven Utroska presided over today’s meeting. Allen Anderson provided today’s invocation and Michaela Harper led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Mark Killingsworth served as our greeter today.
Mike McPhail and thanked those who volunteered to help with today’s meeting. He also introduced today’s visitors. Jay Hughes and Garrison English are guests of Mike Ratliff and Harrison Edwards is a guest of Bill McLeod.
Steven then called a club business meeting to order for the purpose of discussing meeting location options. He presented Option 1 which is a possible relocation to the new Holiday Inn on Highway 49 North. They will accept a minimum guarantee of 35 for each meeting and the price of the meal will be $14.00. These changes would save the club between $11,000 and $15,000 annually in meal costs. Option 2 is to remain at Southern Oaks but increase quarterly dues by $46 just to break even. If Option 1 is accepted, the club will have a trial meeting there on October 15 and then vote on that day to switch to the Holiday Inn or remain at Southern Oaks. Steven reported that the board is recommending Option 1.
Motion: A motion was made and seconded to approve Option 1, have a trial meeting on October 15 and then vote to move to the Holiday Inn or remain at Southern Oaks. The motion was passed with no objection.
Steven then adjourned the business meeting and asked Mike McPhail to introduce today’s guest speakers. Ronnie Venable, Latreaka Rankin and Trina McAlaster are attending today’s meeting representing the G3 Group of this year’s Leadership Pinebelt. Their project is known as Helping Fourth Street to Bloom.
Ronnie reported that the G3 Group plans to construct a park on Fourth Street between Main Street and Hattiesburg High School. The property consists of four city lots and currently has two dilapidated homes on it. The city is in the process of taking ownership of the properties. They will also be responsible for the demolition of the homes. The proposed park will back up to the Longleaf Trace Trail. When constructed it will consist of a bike service station, a bike/walk trail, and a daylily flower sculpture. Ronnie noted that Hattiesburg’s flower is the daylily. The park will have a wooden bridge connecting it to the Trail and a proposed play area. Large rocks will be used for seating. They are also proposing a small splash pad area and a misting system to help with cooling in the heat of the summer. The project is currently anticipated to cost $75,000.
The G3 group has several partners involved in the project. In addition to the City of Hattiesburg, they are also are partnering with the Pine Belt Community Foundation. The 3D Art School at USM has begun a park design contest. The winner is expected to be announced by year’s end. The goal is to make the park a reality by the middle of 2020.
Visit the group on their Facebook page at or you can just search Helping 4th Street to Bloom.
Mark Killingsworth then reported that the annual fundraising event will be bingo and it will be held at the Jackie Dole Community Center on February 4th.
Steven thanked those who attended today and then adjourned the meeting with our motto, Service Above Self.