Stop signs going up at RR tracks

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Following two recent truck-train collisions, Brookhaven aldermenTuesday voted to put stop signs at the railroad tracks on East andWest Manufacturer’s Boulevard in the Industrial Park.

J.M. Thornton, a conductor for Illinois Central Railroad,appeared at last night’s meeting to request the stop signs aftertrains hit delivery trucks in accidents on Feb. 23 and April 9. Hesaid one truck was hit in the middle of its trailer while the otherwas hit in the end at the crossings.

“Those two crossings scare us to death,” Thornton said.

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Other railroad officials were unable to attend last night’smeeting.

Thornton said some companies’ trucks stop at the crossings, buthe said the majority do not. He suggested the stop signs as a wayof saving lives.

“We fear those trucks hitting us in the side,” Thorntonsaid.

Aldermen voted unanimously to put stop signs at the twointersections. The board also said the city would contact theMississippi Department of Transportation regarding the possibilityof cross arms at the intersections.

Jimmy Furlow, sign and traffic control supervisor, said the stopsigns will have to be ordered from Jackson. He expected they wouldbe in place by the middle of next week.

Furlow also asked the railroad to change its faded railroadmarker signs at the Industrial Park intersection. Thornton said hewould relay that message.

In other business during the routine board meeting,Brookhaven-Lincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galeyspoke to the board about funding available to cities and countiesunder new Homeland Security measures. The funds can be used toimprove fire, police, emergency operations and emergency medicalservices.

Galey said the city needed to appoint an administrator andcoordinator for the homeland security effort by May 1. He said thecounty is working on a plan with the Southwest Mississippi Planningand Development District and has not appointed anyone to thosepositions.

Ward 5 Alderman Tom Smith suggested the board hold off on makingan appointment until its next meeting, which would be in May, sothat Mayor Bill Godbold could have input. Godbold was unable toattend last night’s meeting due to illness.

Galey said the city board could wait, but it would not be ableto access the funds until an administrator and coordinator arenamed. He said the city, because of its under-10,000 population,would not be eligible for the first two rounds of funding, but itwould eventually be able to receive some money.

Fire Chief Paul Cartwright, though, questioned why the boardshould wait on making an appointment.

“We certainly don’t want this to get away from us,” Cartwrightsaid.

After a brief discussion, Cartwright and Police Chief PapHenderson were appointed as coordinators, and City Clerk IrisRudman was named administrator. City officials expressed supportfor homeland security effort and were hopeful of receivingfunding.

“We miss out on everything if we don’t do it,” said Ward 6Alderman John E. “Buddy” Allen.

Also Tuesday, engineer Hugh Long informed the board that theaccess road on Fender Trail was completed but had run $1,900 overdue to more asphalt being needed. Also, Long said engineers arerevising plans for the First and Second Street paving projects toallow installation of handicap access at cross walks.

In routine matters, aldermen:

* Approved over $14,000 being billed to individuals for cleaningof lots that required city equipment and manpower.

* Approved Good Friday, April 18, and Confederate Memorial Day,April 28, as holidays for city employees.