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City ranks among best small towns

A national industrial site selection publication has rankedBrookhaven among the Top 100 small towns in the country.

Brookhaven came in at No. 74 on Site Selection magazine’s Top100 Small Towns list, appearing in its March issue. Homeseeker’sParadise was one of eight Mississippi cities to make the list.

“We’ve been telling the world for the last four or five yearsthat we’re a great place to locate from an automotive standpoint,”said Chandler Russ, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerceexecutive vice-president.

Russ cited approximately $20 million in expansions at the DelphiPackard Electric Systems plant on Industrial Park Road in recentyears The additions focused on the company’s plastic moldingoperation and liquid silicone automotive parts process.

“The investment made in that facility was one of the reasons wewere selected,” Russ said.

In its survey, the magazine assessed economic growth from newand expanded businesses. The magazine credited Brookhaven with sixsuch facilities from 2001-03.

About a year and a half ago, Russ said Brookhaven made the shortlist of three potential sites for a DaimlerChrysler plant thatultimately ended up in Ohio. That showing, though, continued toboost Brookhaven’s status as an automotive site, Russ said.

The automotive industry will continue to look to the South whenconsidering expansions, he said.

“We’ve been an automotive destination for many years,” Russsaid. “I’m proud to know the rest of the world is finding thatout.”

Among Mississippi communities on the magazine’s list, Brookhaventied at No. 74 with Booneville, Columbus, Greenwood and Starkville.Tupelo was the highest state city at No. 18, while Corinth andHattiesburg each came in at No. 37.

Traverse City, Mich., was No. 1 on the Site Selection list forthe second year in a row.

With eight cities on the list, Mississippi was fourth-highestamong states. Illinois was first with 15 cities in the Top 100.

Brookhaven’s reputation as a top site continues to show the needfor additional industrial property, Russ said.

Chamber and Industrial Development Foundation efforts to findand develop a new industrial park have been aided by city andcounty support. After city aldermen voted to support the projectlast year, Lincoln County supervisors on Monday followed suit inchoosing to back the land effort.

Russ expected the new park, once built, would further boostBrookhaven’s economic climate.’

“The addition of the industrial park will help us continue togrow and prosper,” Russ said.