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Sewer expansion eyed with MDA grant monies

City sewer services are about to be expanded into the Ole Brookcommunity in the southeastern portion of Brookhaven’s year-oldannexation.

Mayor Bob Massengill said the expansion would extend the city’ssewer services to approximately 50 residences in the area aroundOld Brook Road, which – having formerly been in the county – havenever had access to a sewer system.

“Many of the homes in this area have operated on septic tanks,”he said. “This an area that needs city sewers, and we’re committedto providing that to them.”

The $1.2 million expansion of all new pipes and equipment willbe paid half-and-half by the city with the assistance of a $600,000Community Development Block Grant recently awarded by theMississippi Development Authority.

Massengill said that since the city has already received a CDBGgrant this year to the tune of $490,000 for the construction of theforthcoming senior citizens center and would not be eligible foranother in 2008, the second grant comes courtesy of the LincolnCounty Board of Supervisors.

The city and county have worked toward the grant together sincespringtime, Massengill said, with a joint agreement that the citywould match the grant funds for the project. The grant was awardedlast week.

Massengill said the board of aldermen has not decided whetherthe new service will be mandatory for the Ole Brook Road residents.He said he hopes that everyone would utilize the new system.

Massengill was delighted with the awarding of the state funds,as only a limited amount of the Regular Public Facilities CDBGs areavailable each year.

MDA Public Relations Manager Jennifer Spann said 37 grants wereawarded out of 110 applicants. Applicants are scored on a set ofstate criteria in the grant review process, she said, with one ofthe main factors being the total number of low and median incomefamilies that will be impacted by the pending project.

Brookhaven wasn’t the only Southwest Mississippi community tohit a home run in the recent awarding of CDBG grants, however.

The same grant was also awarded to the Town of Bude in FranklinCounty for a similar project. Mayor Earl Case said his town’snearly $600,000 grant would be used to upgrade the town’s existingsewer system, like lift stations, and expand services to variousareas of the town that have never had sewer access.

“Gosh, everything is so old and neglected, there’s plenty to bedone,” he said. “The system is functional, but we do have someareas in the town that have never had sewer. We’re trying to pickup all those dead spots.”

Case said the extension would provide sewer services toapproximately 25 homes around Bude. Case said Bude officials haveyet to decide if the service will be mandatory or optional.

“You have some people who are against that type of thing becausethey think you’re trying to set them up for a bill,” he said. “Butit will be available to them – we’ll cross that bridge when we getthere.”

The sewer project would not be possible without the grant funds,Case said.

“We just thank God for it,” he said. “Anything that will benefitthe Town of Bude.”