Industry growth means new jobs

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Industry-related action got city officials’ attention Tuesday asaldermen approved two land sales and acted favorably toward athird.

Chandler Russ, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerceexecutive vice-president, said the city had received two $250,000Mississippi Development Authority grants to help with two localindustry ventures. One is a timber-related effort being undertakenby Cortez Byrd east of town, and the other is the expansion of SolaFide for additional warehouse space.

“Both of these industries are eager to get started,” Russsaid.

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Russ said the Byrd project will mean approximately 20 new jobs.The board approved the sale of 10 acres of land near the city’sfiring range on Eastpark Lane.

“They want to go ahead and do some prep work and site work,”Russ said.

The board also approved the sale of about four acres near FenderTrail and Old Highway 51 for a school supply distributor. Russ saidSeacoast Manufacturing and Vending, based in Tallahassee, Fla.,serves three states, and its Brookhaven operation will provide fivejobs.

Sola Fide’s expansion, which will result in about 10 new jobs,is targeted for five acres of 40 acres currently under option bythe city. The city has not acted to buy the Fender property, whichis north of the current Industrial Park.

“We haven’t even bought industrial land, and we’ve already soldfive acres of it,” Russ said.

City Attorney Joe Fernald said the land purchase could beapproved as soon as survey and paperwork is completed. There wereindications that could be done by the next city board meeting inNovember.

Much of Tuesday’s meeting was spent in executive session forpersonnel and pending litigation reasons.

Aldermen took no action on three personnel matters discussed inthe over one-hour closed meeting. The litigation issue was relatedto the city’s pending annexation.

Following the closed session, aldermen voted to allow Fernald toproceed with developing ordinance regulating hunting and burn innewly-annexed areas.

Fernald and annexation consultants have looked at several othercities regulations regarding hunting. The move comes in response toconcerns about hunting no longer being allowed on large areas ofland in the proposed area.

“The consensus of the board is the area would need to be largerthan five acres, and weapons would need to be restricted,” Fernaldsaid.

In other business, aldermen have received memorandums fromFernald regarding the city assumption of maintenance at the Kids’Kingdom playground and mosquito spraying. Fernald did not releasecopies of the memorandums, saying they were work products for boardreview only.

The board has not taken any action regarding Kids’ Kingdom,which has been subject to flooding during periods of heavyrain.

Regarding mosquito spraying, aldermen are still looking foranswers on how to address the spraying on private property issues.Fernald said he has contacted communities as far north asBatesville about their mosquito spraying actions.

“I’ve yet to find a city that will go onto private property tospray for mosquitoes,” Fernald said.