City to seek bids on new travel hub

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Brookhaven aldermen Tuesday voted to advertise for bids for themultimodal transportation facility pending completion of plans forthe oft-discussed structure.

“We are ready to move forward on this,” Mayor Bob Massengillsaid.

Massengill said architects estimated the plans could be readysoon and the city could seek bids for the facility on NorthRailroad Avenue. The mayor said aldermen would be kept abreast ofplans once they are completed.

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The project involves restoration and renovation of the old powerplant building on North Railroad Avenue.

City officials are facing a tight schedule for the project,which could use up to $1.5 million in federal funds allocated forthe facility. The deadline to use the first $1 million of thosefunds is June 2006.

The transportation facility was one of several issues discussedduring Tuesday’s board meeting.

In other action, a group of house movers questioned a cityrequirement calling for them to have a special insurance when theyoperate in the city. Group spokesman Chauncey Van Norman saidBrookhaven was the only Mississippi city calling for the insuranceand discussed difficulty in finding a provider.

“Nobody has a coverage for this type of plan,” Van Norman said.”It’s rare and not needed.”

City Attorney Joe Fernald said the insurance requirement arosein 1997 out of concerns over house-moving activity in the city. Theordinance set up a permit system and called for notification ofvarious city departments that could be affected.

“We felt we had to have some kind of system that was workable,”Fernald said.

Van Norman said his liability coverage would address any damagethat may result during house moving. And the homeowner’s insuranceshould be sufficient for any instances that may occur before thehome leaves the property, he said.

Van Norman said the special insurance provider, the only onehe’d found in four states, won’t renew the policy without hisgetting a full year of coverage. He said he does not do enoughbusiness in Brookhaven to justify that expense.

Aldermen were receptive to the house movers’ plight. Theyindicated the special insurance provision could be waived if thereis a guarantee the mover’s liability insurance would coversituations resulting in property damage.

“That might be sufficient,” Fernald said.

Also Tuesday, aldermen took another step toward possibleadoption of a new sex offender ordinance proposed by Alderman atlarge Les Bumgarner.

The proposal would require notification of the city clerk’soffice and Police Department and place restrictions on whereregistered sex offenders could live within the city limits.Bumgarner said he did not want sex offenders to think they couldhave a “free shot” by living in Brookhaven.

“I believe in giving people a second chance, but I also believein giving children a chance,” the alderman said.

Police Chief Pap Henderson said the list he reviews from theDepartment of Corrections lacks a physical address but additionalinformation is available from the Sheriff’s Department. Also,officials mentioned a new state law requiring sex offenders tocheck in with the Mississippi Highway Patrol every 90 days.

“There’s not a person in Brookhaven with children who wouldn’tlike to know a person like this is moving next door,” Bumgarnersaid.

Officials agreed to have Fernald examine the proposed ordinancefurther.

Finally, Massengill said Dickerson and Bowen expects to begin adowntown paving project by early September. Activity would beginwith concrete work for city sidewalks and followed by paving thatwould be done at night to minimize traffic concerns, the mayorsaid.