City, county leaders step up for park plan

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Brookhaven and Lincoln County leaders have once againdemonstrated their commitment to efforts to bring business andindustry to this community.

The city board of aldermen and county board of supervisors lastweek each agreed to provide up to $2.2 million each to supply thenew LinBrook Business Park with needed infrastructure in the formof roads, water and sewer, and other improvements. Officials alsoare jointly pursuing a $1.1 million Economic DevelopmentAdministration grant to cover the remainder of the $5 million-plusproject.

After sharing with the chamber of commerce’s Partnershipcampaign in the approximately $4 million land purchase, city andcounty leaders are taking another step in the right direction withtheir infrastructure decision. While exactly where the local fundswill come from – possibly from a bond issue – remains to bedetermined, we believe providing park infrastructure will be moneywell spent.

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Some may grumble that spending millions of dollars with noguarantee of bringing an industry to town is not wise. EDA,apparently, does not share that opinion.

Despite traditionally only awarding grants to communities thatalready have businesses or industries located there, EDA appears tobe looking kindly on Brookhaven’s grant application and officialsare confident it will be approved. That Brookhaven is faring wellin that regard is testament to our city, county and chamberleaders’ ability to sell the park project and to demonstrate itssignificant potential for this area.

The current industrial park is nearly out of space and itspotential for attracting business and industry remains limited.

Recognizing that fact, Brookhaven and Lincoln County leadershave moved beyond the crossroads of a few years ago when thequestion was whether we would find a new park or continue to sit onthe sidelines in the economic development game. Since then, though,the game’s rules have changed to require successful communities tohave land with infrastructure in place and ready to beoccupied.

Last week’s actions show that city and county leaders understandthat fact and that they are dedicated to bringing more economicdevelopment victories to Brookhaven and Lincoln County.