Mayor: City must decide fate of transportation hub

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Mayor Bob Massengill said a decision is needed soon on how toproceed with a stalled multi-modal transportation facility.

Speaking Tuesday to the Brookhaven Lions Club, the mayorindicated the board of aldermen could take action Tuesday followinga presentation by architect Michael Barranco. The architect isscheduled to update the board on the status of the project.

“We’re still considering a direction we’re going to take here,”Massengill said.

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Massengill said no money was spent on the project in 2004. Theboard has decided that no additional funds would be spent untilquestions about the city’s financial commitment can beanswered.

Approximately 3,500 people caught the train in Brookhaven lastyear, Massengill said. He said the facility could be used for trainpurposes, but he questioned whether bus services would relocatethere.

“This is something that’s been in the work a number of years andit needs to come to a head,” the mayor said about the proposedfacility. “It’s time to fish or cut bait.”

The transportation facility was one of several topics the mayortouched on during his brief address. He also mentioned pendingdowntown street paving plans, ditch cleaning and storm drainefforts, and city, county and chamber progress on a new industrialpark.

“We’re planning for the future of our children andgrandchildren,” Massengill said about the industrial park.

With the city set obtain the old Mississippi Highway Patrolsubstation on Highway 51 following MHP’s move to its new offices onHighway 84, Massengill said officials are looking to relocate thecity’s police department. The mayor mentioned pursuing a possiblegrant to assist in those efforts.

“We’re going to work toward getting that accomplished,”Massengill said.

The mayor said he has asked aldermen to identify priorities forthe city. Once identified, he said the mayor and board could worktogether toward addressing those priorities.

Lighting of the city’s three interchanges along Interstate 55remains a priority. He said he had spoken with Southern DistrictTransportation Commissioner Wayne Brown about those plans.

“That will give our entrances to the city a little morecosmopolitan look, and it will be safer as well,” Massengillsaid.