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Board seeks sound solution for train station

Often we feel like government moves slower than we like.Nevertheless, some good things are happening in Brookhaven, and Iwant to bring you up to date on several of them.

At our last meeting, the board named Jimmy Furlow asdepartmental coordinator for the city. In this new position, Jimmywill serve as a resource to all departments, using his experiencefrom over the past 30 years. He will also be able to help me withsome of the daily routine matters, which will allow me, along withthe board, to spend more time on the many areas for which plansneed to begin being developed. These plans, when implemented, willhelp move Brookhaven forward and should make our city an evenbetter place in which to live and work. I thank the board formaking this positive move for the future of Brookhaven.

I’m sure you have heard that the downtown paving project hasbeen “on-again, off-again” for several months. The bottom line isthis: We are readvertising for bids on a lightly revised project.We still believe the work can be accomplished when warmer weatheris here, hopefully in May or June.

We’ve advised our congressional delegation of our grant andfunding requests for the next year. These include severalinfrastructure needs such as improved storm water drainage, anadditional water well and elevated tank, and sewer improvements. Wehave also asked for funding assistance for a senior citizenscenter, for relocation of the police department and for equipmentneeds for the fire department. The funding process takes time, butwe have let our congressmen and senators know our needs and havemade them aware of their importance to Brookhaven.

We will soon have the appraisal for the proposed Industrial parkproperty. Once this has been received and accepted, we will proceedwith the funding of the park and then with the purchasing of theland. This will help put Brookhaven and Lincoln County back in thebusiness of attracting industrial prospects to our area.

We all know that there are varying opinions through thecommunity regarding the proposed multi-modal facility. The boardhas not spent any funds on this project in well over a year and isattempting to make a sound decision on how to best proceed. As youmay also know, the city must match the federal grant with localfunds equaling 20 percent of the total project costs. The propertyitself is the city’s 20 percent funding covering Phase I. thiswould mean a building of approximately 2,200 square feet could bebuilt where the old power plant building now stands at noadditional building cost to the taxpayer. We’re waiting on answersfrom the architect, from MDOT, and from Amtrak before we proceedwith our decision.

Our engineers are working on helping provide solutions to manyof the storm-water drainage problems. Often problems come withgrowth, but we’re looking at ways to help resolve as many of theseas possible. Our major areas of concern have been identified, andwe’re now studying solutions.

We have requested an update on the cluster lights at the threeinterstate exchanges. Several months ago we requested funds to getthis work done, but I can’t tell you when it will take place. Thisis still a top priority to your board.

I hope the above helps keep you posted on some of the majorareas of interest.

Bob Massengill is mayor of Brookhaven. Contact him at (601)833-5796.