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City moving forward with lot cleaning, car removal

Following necessary notices and public hearings, Brookhavenofficials are moving forward with plans to clean up lots and otherproblem areas in the city.

After a second public hearing last night, aldermen voted toproceed with the lot-cleaning, building demolition and othercleanup plans.

Some targeted buildings will be torn down by city crews, a fewwill be handled through controlled burns for firefighter training,and others will be handled by private services, aldermen decided.Any cost incurred will be charged back to the property owner.

“We’ve got them all over town and we’re going to get them takencare of,” said Mayor Bob Massengill about the dilapidated buildingsand lot problems.

One area that generated some discussion last night was arecurring concern involving cars at a Railroad Street residence anda Main Street used car business. Property owner Lawrence Smith wasnot a last night’s hearing and an attempt to contact him Wednesdaymorning was unsuccessful.

After being contacted by the city, Smith had moved some of thevehicles from his residence to the business, Big Bargain Used Cars,said Building Inspector Walter Temple. City officials, though, werenot satisfied and believe the business is not in operation.

“I’m for moving everything he’s got up there,” said Ward OneAlderman Dorsey Cameron.

City officials mentioned they had heard Smith was trying toacquire property in the county. If he retrieves the vehicles fromthe city’s impound yard, officials said they could be placed on thecounty property.

“They’re not going back to Railroad Street and they’re not goingback to Main Street,” Cameron said.

Officials agreed to start making arrangements to have thevehicles moved.

“If we do nothing, nothing’s going to happen,” Cameron said.

In other business Tuesday, aldermen approved the sale of $2.2million in bonds for the new business park. Financial consultantDemery Grubbs said the 3.94 percent interest rate was “an excellentbid” on the bonds, which will be paid off over the next 20years.

On a related note, consultant Mike Slaughter is expected to meetwith the board before their next meeting to discuss annexation ofthe business park area. City officials raised the possibility ofannexing the area earlier and now want to move forward.

“It’s not a major area, but it is something we want to getannexed,” Massengill said.