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Aldermen approve more money for ward work

Brookhaven aldermen will have more discretionary funds forprojects in their wards this year under a plan approvedTuesday.

Earlier this year, the board approved $20,000 for each ward foraldermen to pursue street paving, sidewalk improvements or otherprojects they felt are needed. Mayor Bob Massengill and Aldermen atlarge Les Bumgarner were also allotted $20,000 each fordiscretionary projects they wished to do.

Last night, Massengill suggested the board add another $20,000for each official, for a total of $160,000, to the budget.

The mayor said the recommendation was made in order to takeadvantage of lower asphalt prices, which were quoted to the city atthe beginning of the fiscal year. With those prices expected to goup next year, Massengill said the city could get more work done bymoving forward this year.

“In other words, we’re paying for it this year, getting it donewith this year’s dollars and this year’s quote,” the mayorsaid.

Ward Five Alderman D.W. Maxwell supported the mayor’s plan butalso expressed concerns about conditions on Brookway Boulevard. Hesaid ruts are beginning to form in some areas and he wanted to makesure sufficient funds are available for road repairs whenneeded.

“This is everybody’s concern,” Maxwell said.

Massengill acknowledged the road concerns. However, he indicatedother funding sources may be available in the future for theboulevard.

The discretionary spending addition passed unanimously.

In other business, aldermen voted to seek a Small MunicipalitiesGrant of up to $150,000 to assist with developing an entrance tothe new LinBrook Business Park. Millions are needed to develop thenew park west of the city, but Massengill said any funding wouldhelp.

Also last night, veterans Paul Jackson and James Cox spoke tothe board about the Military Memorial Museum and the upcomingveterans parade on Memorial Day.

Jackson said over 1,500 visitors, with about 20 percent from outof town, came to the museum last year. He requested city officials’assistance in getting a promotional sign for the museum placed onInterstate 55.

“We have to have a little help,” Jackson said.

Massengill said a museum sign for the interstate is a “greatidea.”