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Officials eye Bicentennial Park expansion

Sometimes it is possible to bring beauty from ashes.

Bicentennial Park will expand to a neighboring lot of land,which until recently was owned by former Lincoln County SupervisorBill Loving, according to discussions at Tuesday night’s boardmeeting.

The city is in the process of purchasing the property fromLoving after his home burned Aug. 14. Mayor Bob Massengill said theland will be used to expand the park and add practice fields.

Massengill said Loving told him the lot should be clean by thefirst of the month, which will then allow work to begin. The fenceat the south of Bicentennial Park will be moved, Massengill said,and will block the ditch area so children won’t be able to play init.

A much-anticipated spray park will be moved about 30-40 feetfarther south than planned, and there will be a field for areateams to use for different sports practices. Meanwhile, parkingwill go on the property just west of the present park.

“I think this is a good decision,” Massengill said, alsoassuring the aldermen that the large trees on Loving’s lot will notbe harmed in the process of expanding the park.

The spray park projects will soon be under way as well,Massengill said, with City Park’s beginning construction on Oct.20. Bicentennial Park’s will be constructed after City Park iscompleted.

Ward Three Alderwoman Mary Wilson, who has been instrumental inthe Bethel Park project, reminded the board that a spray park willalso be expected at Bethel.

“After the spray parks are completed at Bicentennial and theother one, when will we get to the other areas?” she asked themayor.

Massengill told her that by the time the summer arrives, thecity hopes to have more than just the first two in place.

“But at this time of year, if it’s finished by Oct. 1, Oct. 15,or Oct. 31, it’s all the same,” he said.

Bethel Park is a step closer to reality as well, Massengillsaid. Woody Sample of Sample & Associates consulting firm andBrenda Lacey of the Mississippi Development Authority will bevisiting Brookhaven Wednesday to conduct a site visit.