Aldermen transfer land for BARL use

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2005

With a grant application deadline today, Brookhaven aldermenmoved quickly Tuesday to help the Brookhaven Animal Rescue Leaguein its effort to build a new facility.

Ed Gove and Brad Holbrook asked the board for a property releaseto allow Hartley Gove Sons Thermometer plant to deed a section ofland to BARL for its proposed facility. The city owns the land, andthe plant has leased the property for years.

BARL officials said the organization is seeking a $200,000 grantfrom the Ahimsa Foundation of Boston. Holbrook said the landtransfer is needed for the application, which is due today.

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“They require you to own the land if they’re going to give youmoney to build,” said Holbrook, a retired attorney helping with theapplication.

Aldermen approved the transfer of a 150-foot-by-300-foot sectionof land to the thermometer plant, which will then be turned over toBARL. The rescue league will get a survey of the property.

BARL dogs are currently housed in pens at the plant. Cats aresheltered at area veterinary offices.

“It really needs to be updated,” City Attorney Joe Fernald saidof BARL’s current facilities. “They do a good job with what theyhave.”

Fernald said the property for the new shelter would revert tothe city if it ceases to be used by BARL for more than twoyears.

The new shelter would be an indoor facility with space for dogsand cats and an operating room. BARL officials have estimated thecost to be around $175,000.

Susan Steen, who is also helping with the application, said shehopes to know something about a grant award in six months. She saidBARL is also applying for several smaller grants from otheranimal-related organizations.

In other business during Tuesday’s meeting, Public WorksDirector Steve Moreton said the downtown paving project is expectedto start around Aug. 20. A preconstruction conference was heldearlier Tuesday with contractor Dickerson and Bowen.

Moreton said sidewalk and other concrete work would be done inthe day. Milling and paving is to be done at night.

Also Tuesday, Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President CliffBrumfield updated city officials on a variety of recent chamberactivities.

Brumfield mentioned a recent visit by state economic developmentofficials to Brookhaven and McComb. State political leaders havebeen promoting a desire for increased economic development insouthwest Mississippi.

“We could not agree more with them,” Brumfield said.

Brumfield said a Main Street Association meeting has beenscheduled for Aug. 25. Brookhaven officials are considering joiningthe downtown improvement and revitalization organization.

During an earlier visit, association officials praisedBrookhaven’s strong downtown. Brumfield, though, said more could bedone to make the downtown even better.

“We don’t want to leave any stone unturned that might show somebenefit to the area,” he said.

Brumfield also touted development of the community’s newbusiness park. All the land for the park has been acquired, hesaid, and officials soon will look to hire an engineer to assistwith layout and landscaping.