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Preservation survey results tabled for now

The board of aldermen voted unanimously to table the results ofthe Survey on Historic Preservation done with the downtownbusinesses after results showed mediocre interest in being includedin the project.

Instead, officials will wait to see what happens with a pendingMississippi Main Street application.

According to the survey results, 12 of the 18 businesses did notwant to have their property included in the historical preservationat this time, though some said they would be interested in beingincluded at a later date. Five out of 18 of the business ownerspolled were in favor of what was outlined in the survey and wantedto be included.

Of renters downtown, 61 percent were interested in having theirproperty considered to see if it qualified. But in most cases, theyacknowledged it would be the building owners who would make thedecision on changes to be made to the exterior of theirproperting.

The subject of the pending Main Street application was broughtup and whether Main Street and plans for the historic preservationwere compatible.

“When 67 percent are not in favor, we were elected and we needto represent our constituents,” said Ward Five Alderman D.W.Maxwell. “We need to see what Main Street has to offer. From whatI’ve seen, they make positive changes.”

Mayor Bob Massengill agreed, saying perhaps the two projectscould go hand-in-hand, but either one would be beneficial.

“Main Street makes sure you have good-looking buildingsdowntown, although it’s not necessarily a historic preservation,”he said. “We definitely want to have a strong downtown.”

In other business, the aldermen also discussed the cleaning ofseven lots that will need to be cleaned by their owners. The boardset a public hearing for Monday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. aboutcleaning the lots.

“I would hope people would take pride in their own lots andclean them themselves so the city wouldn’t have to,” said Directorof Public Works Steve Moreton.

Also a discussion was the upcoming Brookhaven bicentennial.Apparently the centennial plates show the year 1859 as the yearBrookhaven was founded, but historical documents show 1858 as theactual founding year.

“I guess the board can make the call,” said Massengill.

The board decided to celebrate 2008 as the bicentennial, andthey mentioned a celebration around the Fourth of July, although itwas just in conversation.