Downtown paving awaits MDOT clearance

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Several Brookhaven projects are close to getting the green lightto move forward, City Engineer Carl Ray Furr told aldermen Tuesdaynight.

Furr presented final engineering plans for paving severaldowntown streets and installing handicap ramps, which are requiredbecause federal funding is involved. The engineer said the plansare under review by the Mississippi Department ofTransportation.

“As soon as the highway department clears us, we’ll advertise,”Furr said. “That’s the next step.”

Furr said he hopes to be able to advertise for bids in about twoweeks.

“When we get through with it, it’s going to make downtown lookgreat,” Furr said.

Also, Furr said he hopes to be able to advertise for bids on theIntermodal Transportation Facility in the next 30 days. He saidfederal funding for a scaled back, estimated $1.9 million versionof the facility had been released.

“We look forward to getting that under way probably bySeptember,” Furr said.

Plans for the facility, which is expected to house severaltransportation services plus have meeting spaces, includerenovation of a building near the old smoke stack on North RailroadAvenue and clean up of the area.

“By this time next year, we ought to have a really good-lookingbuilding over there,” Furr said.

On a related note, the board of aldermen approved Mayor BobMassengill’s recommendation to name the transportation facility inhonor of the Godbold family.

Massengill said former Mayor Bill Godbold, whose father andmother also served as Brookhaven mayor, was very interested in thetransportation facility. He said naming the facility for theGodbolds would be a nice way to honor the family.

In other engineering activity, Furr said available funding for aCenter Street widening project will be known after a bid openingfor a new Industrial Park Road turn lane near Manufacturer’sBoulevard. For the projects, officials are using money left overfollowing construction of the new overpass several years ago.

“People can’t come and go two at a time on that street,” Furrsaid about the Center Street situation. “That’s something thatdefinitely needs to be done.”

Ward Six Alderman John E. “Buddy” Allen questioned Furr aboutprospects for lighting of interstate intersections in and near thecity.

Furr said that would have to be done through MDOT or receivespecial project funding. City officials cited several othercommunities that have lighted interstate intersections and askedFurr to pursue the project further.

“I think everybody is interested in that,” Massengill said.

With annexation on the horizon, aldermen Tuesday night approveddevelopment of a subdivision ordinance for the city. The ordinancewould address such issues as streets, water and sewer and pavementdepth for new subdivisions.

Water Department Superintendent Lanny Dickey, Building InspectorSteve Moreton and Traffic Supervisor Jimmy Furlow were appointed towork with Furr’s Engineering Associates on the ordinance. Arepresentative of the board of aldermen and the city PlanningCommission will also be involved in the process.

Aldermen capped ordinance development costs at $500.

In city personnel and employee matters, Ronnie Mackabee wasreappointed to a four-term Planning Commission term, and MarthaWilbert was reappointed to a four-year term on the Board ofAdjustments.

Aldermen voted to give Deputy City Clerk Marsha Fairman andFurlow one-time $1,000 supplements for their assistance duringrecent leadership transitions. Ward Two Alderman Terry Bates saidFairman served well as interim city clerk following Iris RudmanSmith’s retirement, and Ward Five Alderman Tom Smith said Furlowhad served as assistant to the previous mayor and current mayorduring the transition.

Don Estes was declared the winner of the special election forWard Four alderman. Estes was the only candidate for the post,which was vacant after Massengill became mayor.

Estes was scheduled to be sworn in Wednesday at 11 a.m. by JudgeEd Patten. Estes will begin his duties following the ceremony andhis first regular board meeting will be July 20.

“We’re real pleased to have you,” Massengill told Estes, whoattended last night’s meeting with his wife, Shirley.

Aldermen approved Allen’s request to dedicate North Third Streetin honor of former long-time Ward One Alderman J.W. Morgan. Adedication ceremony will be held at a later date after cityofficials work out some details.

“He’s a good man and has given a lot to the citizens of thecity,” Allen said.