Mayor’s presents one-year train station building plan

Published 5:00 am Thursday, June 9, 2005

A time table for a multi-modal transportation facility wouldhave renovation of the structure completed in about a year,according to a discussion during Tuesday’s board of aldermenmeeting.

Mayor Bob Massengill presented a construction schedule, preparedby architect Michael Barranco, that would have contractor bidsopened in August. Renovation of the facility along North RailroadAvenue would be substantially complete by mid-June 2006.

“We need to be through with the multi-modal building by the endof June next year,” Massengill said. “Our first earmark expires atthat point.”

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The city received earmarks for three federal appropriationstotaling almost $4 million.

However, after scaling back plans for the facility, aldermenvoted in April to return $2.5 million. Last night, Massengill reada letter from Sen. Trent Lott acknowledging the city’s plans to notuse the money.

The renovation project is estimated at $978,222.

The first earmark is for almost $1 million, with a required 20percent local match coming in value of the existing building andthe land. If $500,000 from the second earmark is used, the citywill need to come up with money or in-kind assistance to providethe local match.

In other city project activity Tuesday, Massengill mentionedplans to seek a small municipality grant to renovate theMississippi Highway Patrol station on Highway 51 for the city’spolice department.

Following completion of a new substation on Highway 84, MHPmoved out of the Highway 51 building in 2002. The building isstructurally sound, but some renovation is needed.

“It needs to be a good bit done,” Massengill said.

Massengill did not have an estimate on renovation costs, but oneis expected at the next board meeting. The mayor said the boardwill need to act at the next meeting in order to submit anapplication by the deadline at the end of June.

The small municipality grant is available for cities withpopulations less than 10,000. Brookhaven’s population is currentlyless than 10,000, although a pending annexation would boost it toaround 13,000.

Massengill suggested the board ask for half the estimated amountand budget the remainder. He said other cities would likely ask forthe full amount of their projects, while his suggestion could helpimprove Brookhaven’s chances of being funded.

Several new street lights are planned for Brookway Boulevardnear the new Home Depot following approval by the board Tuesdaynight.

Following a visit with Southwest Mississippi Electric PowerAssociation officials, Massengill presented a plan for 23 lights onBrookway Boulevard Extension and Eastpark Lane.

However, Massengill recommended installation of only 12 lightsfor the area. He said some farther west on the boulevard were notnecessary now.

“This will have us lit up well out there,” Massengill said.

The cost would be a $2,000 one-time charge for installation ofthe poles and $218 a month. The total would be $2,625 a year.

Aldermen approved the plan.

“I really think that needs to be done,” said Ward Five AldermanTom Smith, citing Home Depot’s scheduled opening at the end of themonth.