School board considers tower request

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 28, 2002

A request for a radio tower on 16th Section land outside thecity limits could possibly interfere with future industrialdevelopments in the area, city school district officials said indelaying action on the matter Tuesday.

The Brookhaven School District board of trustees expressedconcerns Tuesday during their monthly meeting about whether toapprove a commercial lease on property that could be used forindustrial development. The request was for approximately fouracres of land between Belt Line Road, Crooked Lane and MonticelloStreet to be used for a Brookhaven radio station’s tower.

“My only concern is that’s such a valuable piece of property forcommercial use,” said board secretary Dr. Prentiss L. Smith, after16th Section Director Versie Rushing asked for approval for thelease.

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Rushing pointed out that “it might hinder” possible developmentof industries looking to move to the area in the future, althoughno industry is specifically looking at the area at this time. Hesaid one option would be to lease the land for a shorter amount oftime so the school district can still gain some from theproject.

“There’s pros and cons. It’s pretty good revenue for the schooldistrict,” said Rushing.

Board members asked Rushing to look into all possibilitiesbefore the next board meeting so that they may make the bestpossible decision.

“I think we could write a clause in there that if some industrycomes in and wants that land, we can terminate the lease,” saidRushing about another possible option.

Rushing plans to have more information for the 6 p.m. meeting onSept. 24.

In other matters, a number of fundraisers by students and schooltrips were approved for the year.

Superintendent Dr. Sam Bounds also noted that numerous donationswere made to the Brookhaven High School baseball team in the formof equipment over the last two years. The Brookhaven Diamond Club,the team’s booster club, donated $21,000 worth of equipment to theschool district recently.

“Our booster clubs are really working to benefit students,” saidBounds, pointing out that others have made great contributions aswell.

Board president Amy Valentine took the opportunity to ask Boundsif everything was “pretty well settled” with the beginning of theschool year this month.

“Words escape me,” said Bounds. “My ninth opening here was byfar the smoothest.”

He credited the many schools’ open houses that helpedfamiliarize students with their schools before the first day.

Also during the Tuesday meeting, the board approved thehandbooks for each school in the district, noting few changes weremade from last year.