City fails in bid to secure grants for BPD relocation

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A plan to relocate the Brookhaven Police Department has suffereda setback after the city did not get state funding for the move,Mayor Bob Massengill said Tuesday.

“We did not get the matching grant,” the mayor told aldermenTuesday night during a budget work session.

The city has set aside $125,000 that would have been matchedwith a $150,000 small municipalities grant to upgrade the oldMississippi Highway Patrol building on Highway 51. The cityacquired the building in exchange for buying land for a new MHPstation on Highway 84.

Massengill said 155 cities had requested funds totaling $21million. He said the state only had $5 million for the program.

With budgeted city funds, the old MHP building’s roof,mechanical and electrical systems can be upgraded and allow thePolice Department to move.

“It’ll be nice. It just won’t be as nice as if we had gotten thegrant,” Massengill said.

City Attorney Joe Fernald said a plan to move the MississippiDepartment of Corrections office into the Police Department spacehas been discussed.

Aldermen discussed the impact of the Police Department move onprisoner transportation and city finances. Fernald said most citycases are bound over for the grand jury, thus making prisoners thecounty’s responsibility.

Massengill said the city pays 20 percent of the government andlaw enforcement complex’s utility bill. Police Department spacecosts would be removed from the city’s portion of the bill.

Massengill said Police Chief Pap Henderson had developed a wellthough-out plan for his department’s move.