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Officials mull water tank plan for bus. park

Brookhaven officials continue to move forward with plans toprovide infrastructure to the community’s new business park, butMayor Bob Massengill said some aspects of the project will taketime to complete.

During a short and routine meeting Tuesday night, aldermenapproved the city’s intent to issue up to $2.2 million in bonds tohelp pay for roads, water and sewer and other infrastructure needsfor the new park west of the city. The city money will be put with$2.2 million from the county and $1.1 million in a federal grant tofund the estimated $5.5 million project.

One decision still under consideration is the size of anelevated water tank to be built as part of the project.

Massengill said a 500,000 gallon tank is estimated to cost $1.1million while a one million gallon tank is expected to be around$1.6 million. He also said the construction period for a tank isbetween 420 and 450 days.

“It’s going to be a considerable amount of time before this getsdone,” the mayor said about the tank project.

Several officials last night touted the elevated tank’s abilityto serve more customers than just those in the business park. Withthe area west of Interstate 55 growing, they said that would bebeneficial.

Ward One Alderman Dorsey Cameron questioned the bond issue’simpact on the city’s bonded indebtedness standing. Massengill saidthe city’s position is strong and the park bond issue would nothave a major impact.

“We’re in excellent shape, even with this,” the mayor said.

Massengill said the new bond issue would not prevent the cityfrom addressing its obligations regarding annexation, on which afinal court decision is expected sometime next year.

In other business, Massengill said plans for the Multi-ModalTransportation Facility have been sent to Washington for approvalby the Department of Transportation. Also, officials are awaitingofficial word on whether AMTRAK will provide $50,000 toward theproject to partner with the city.

“Hopefully, we’ll hear back from them by mid-November,” themayor said.

Also regarding city projects, Massengill said the number ofpeople to be helped by a Mississippi Emergency Management Agencyprogram had dwindled to zero.

In the voluntary program, MEMA and the city were to share in thecosts of buying homes in the Saint George and Center Street areasthat flood frequently. The homes were to be demolished, with theland turned into green space and homeowners using the funds to geta new start in a better location.

Officials originally expected to be able to help eighthomeowners, but for various reasons that number is now zero.

“The project isn’t going to be done because none of thehomeowners were able to accept the offers,” Massengill said abouthome purchase offers that were based on property appraisals.

The mayor said one offer was insufficient to allow a homeownerto move and other arrangements in another situation. City officialshave been working on the home project for over a year and ahalf.

Also last night, city officials agreed to pay approximately$9,500 to help provide floor tile as part of a courthouserenovation project. The county will pay about $9,900 to completethe project that has used mainly federal funds for a new roof andother building needs.

In the last presentation, as part of an employee recognitionprogram, more than 20 Brookhaven Police Department employees withfive or more years of service were honored last night.

Those recognized included: Chief Pap Henderson, 36 years; RogerWilson, 25 years; Joe Portrey, 25 years; Larry Warren, 25 years;Bobby Bell, 25 years; Nolan Jones, 22 years; George Lambright, 20years; Marvin Nesmith, 20 years; Kenny Collins, 17 years; ChrisCase, 17 years; Scott Brister, 15 years; Clint Earls, 15 years;Marzell Brooks, 14 years; Louis Calcote, 14 years; Dale Burt, 13years; Willie Harrison, 12 years; David Johnson, 12 years; RobSmith, 12 years; Fred Daniels, 11 years; John Douglas, 10 years;Patty Diamond, eight years; Chuck Francis, six years; TecompshaWarren, six years; Mike Norris, five years; and Bryan Calvin, fiveyears.