Board sets date for special election

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Brookhaven aldermen have scheduled an Oct. 12 special electionto replace a member of the board who died this week.

After Ward Four Alderman Don Estes’ death Monday following abrief illness, aldermen Tuesday night declared the office vacantand scheduled the special election. The special vote will be tofill the remainder of the term through June 2005.

Under the election schedule, Sept. 22 will be the last day forcandidates to qualify for the post, said City Clerk Mike Jinks.Candidates will need the names of 50 registered voters from WardFour in order to run.

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A board appointment to the office is not allowed, said Mayor BobMassengill.

“If it was after the first of the year, we could appoint, but wecan’t now,” Massengill said.

Estes was the only candidate to qualify in an earlier specialelection for Ward Four alderman after Massengill was elected mayor.Estes was appointed and took office in July.

In other business Tuesday night, aldermen agreed for the city toassume supervision of a Bicentennial Park improvement project begunearlier by the chamber of commerce’s Competitive Community Program.Travis Wright, with the CCP, said the leadership program had comeup with $30,000 in matching assistance for up to a $100,000grant.

Wright said the project involves modernization of the park’spavilion area and playground equipment. Responding to somequestions from aldermen, Wright said restrooms are not in theplans.

“With the cost of bathrooms, we weren’t able to do that at thistime,” said Wright, estimating that restrooms would be more thanhalf of planned expenses.

Ward One Alderman Dorsey Cameron said the park needed tocontinue to be targeted for elementary age and younger children. Healso mentioned some neighbors’ concerns that the noise level bekept down.

@Subhead:Grant plans

Also Tuesday, aldermen agreed to again seek an up to $450,000Community Development Block Grant for ditch repairs in Ward Three.Officials viewed the grant as a possible means of helping aspecific area, although ditch concerns are a city-wide issue.

“We’ve got a need in numerous areas,” said Mayor Bob Massengill.”Some are worse than others.”

Roy Geoghegan, a planner with Southwest Mississippi Planning andDevelopment District, said at least 51 percent of projectbeneficiaries must be in the low to moderate income range. He saida home survey will be needed to identify people and verify incomelevels.

The planner added that the grants are awarded on a competitivebasis. He said the city will need to identify a matchingcontribution later in the application process.

“A $1 for $1 match, of course, will get you the greatest numberof points,” Geoghegan said.

Aldermen approved a resolution to seek the CDBG and scheduled a6 p.m. public hearing on Oct. 19 to discuss the grantapplication.

@Subhead:Insurance issue

Aldermen last night delayed action on renewing the city’sliability insurance coverage policy. Agent Mike Smith presented therenewal policy that calls for a $1,373 decrease from $129,688 to$128,315, due to some vehicles being removed from coverage.

The board was also considering a $1,862 policy to coverterrorism. Massengill said that amounts to about $150 a month.

“For $150 a month, that gives us some comfort,” Massengillsaid.

Cameron said he had some questions about the insurance policyand the requested the board wait until its Sept. 21 meeting to acton the renewal. The policy renewal date is Oct. 1.