Leaders commit to provide park infrastructure

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Brookhaven and Lincoln County leaders have approved commitmentsof up to $2.2 million each to help provide infrastructure for thenew LinBrook Business Park.

Officials also hope to secure a $1.1 million EconomicDevelopment Administration grant for the remainder of the estimated$5.4 million project. The project includes needed roads, water andsewer improvements, a water tank and well for the park west of thecity off Brookway Boulevard.

“We can’t attract industry with raw land,” Mayor Bob Massengillsaid. “We have to have it ready for someone to put industry outthere.”

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The business park project is a joint effort between LincolnCounty, the City of Brookhaven and the chamber of commerce.Aldermen approved the city’s resolution during Tuesday’s boardmeeting and the board of supervisors passed a similar resolutionMonday.

“Our resolution stated that we are committing to the project,”said District Four Supervisor Doug Moak. “We’ve already put a lotof money in it along with the city, and I’m sure that somewherealong the way there will be a bond issued there in the mix beforeit is all completed.”

Massengill also said that at some point bonds may have to beissued. He pointed out, however, the city has approximately$600,000 set aside to be spent on economic development needs.

The improvements to the LinBrook Business Park will also benefitpeople on the far end of the boulevard, city officials said. Theinfrastructure plan calls for a minimum 500,000 gallon water tankthat will increase water pressure.

“This would give more capacity to city water, not only thepark,” said Roy Goeghegan of the Southwest Mississippi Planning andDevelopment District.

Goeghegan said the deadline for the city and county to apply forthe EDA grant is Aug. 10. He expected no problems in meeting thatdeadline and was confident the application would be approved.

Typically, EDA grants are approved only after an industry hasagreed to locate in an area. Goeghegan called the $1.1 millionsuggested application amount a “good offer” from EDA and praisedlocal officials for their efforts in seeking the grant.

Massengill expressed similar sentiments.

“It is extremely unusual to be getting funds from EDA without anindustry ready to come in and we are excited,” Massengill said.

Other business addressed at last night’s meeting included thechanging of hours for several city departments due to the intensesummer heat. The solid waste, street and cemetery departments willarrive at work at 6 a.m., take an hour for lunch and then bringtheir work day to a close at 3 p.m.

At the request of Solid Waste Department Superintendent WillieSmith, the board of aldermen will begin recognizing employees ofthe city who have given five or more years of service. Smith lastnight presented several solid waste employees with certificates ofrecognition for their dedication: Jimmie Cooks, six years; JonathanDavis, 10 years; Jamie Lee Dickey, 26 years; Jerome McCrory, 25years and Jimmy Fields, six years.

“I’m letting them know that they are appreciated,” Smithsaid.

Also last night, the board of aldermen approved a public hearingfor August 15 at 6 p.m. to deal with lot cleanup. Officialnotification will be sent to landowners requesting theirparticipation in the hearing.