Downtown paving may begin in May, June

Published 6:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2005

Good things are happening in Brookhaven and Lincoln County, andI’m pleased to be involved. Let me bring you up to date withseveral things going on locally.

You have all seen the paving taking place on Monticello Street.This is a project being accomplished by the Mississippi Departmentof Transportation (MDOT), as Highway 184 (Monticello Street) is astate highway. Overall, they are paving six miles, and all of uswho use Monticello Street or 184 will be pleased with the endresult.

Our downtown paving project should go out for bid in April, sowe hope to start paving beginning in May or June. The paving willtake place at night to ensure the least inconvenience to motoristspossible. You will also see a considerable amount of work beingdone on handicap ramps throughout the area being paved.

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The board unanimously approved moving ahead with the first phaseof a new multimodal facility, which will be located adjacent to thesmoke stack near the railroad. Last year over 4,000 people eithercaught the train or disembarked here; we need to provide them witha better facility. All of the surrounding city property will becleaned up, and this will greatly improve the entire area. Pleaseremember that this project is to be funded with federal money andthat our matching portion consists of the land and buildingsalready owned by the city. You will be kept fully informed of ourprogress.

The city and county are getting closer to issuing bonds for thepurchase of the industrial park property. As I’ve mentioned before,this will enable Brookhaven and Lincoln County once more to be anactive recruiter of industry. Recently, I’ve heard it said that theeconomy of southwest Mississippi is not good. I’m pleased to reportthat our sales tax receipts are ahead of last year’s, that we haveseveral building projects under way or being considered and thatthere is an air of excitement about our future. Please remember tobuy at home whenever you possibly can, for this truly makes adifference.

At the last board meeting, it was agreed that we need newdirectional signals on Brookway Boulevard at Magee Drive and atBrookhaven Street. We are proceeding with this and plan on havingthese up and functioning by summer.

We have met with officials from MDOT regarding other trafficrelated matters and feel you should see several improvements in themonths to come.

The city has filed for a grant to put a fence around theairport. Last year, the runway and aprons were resurfaced, and thisfence will provide much-needed security. Our understanding is thatour request is strongly being considered.

At our last meeting, the board declared that March is to beMental Retardation Awareness/Developmental Disabilities Month.Brookhaven is fortunate to have dedicated people assisting thosewith mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. TheBoswell Center provides employment for over 60 individuals withmental retardation who desire to work and earn an honest wage. Thelocal Juvenile Rehabilitation Facility is dedicated to providing upto 48 adolescents with mental retardation an individualized arrayof rehabilitation service options.

Contact Brookhaven Mayor Bob Massengill at (601)833-1414.