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City creates panel to promote local shopping

As Brookhavenites have seen rising sales tax returns coming induring recent months, city officials continue to focus on ways tokeep local money local.

Ward Six Alderman David Phillips asked the board of aldermenTuesday to approve a committee to research and come up withcampaign strategies to encourage local shoppers to spend theirmoney at home.

“It’s time to implement this, and we need to get it going assoon as possible,” he said, pointing out that the holiday season isjust around the corner.

Mayor Bob Massengill said he hoped Phillips would chair thecommittee, adding that Ward Two Alderman Terry Bates and Aldermanat-large Les Bumgarner should serve on the panel as well.Massengill said it would be a good idea for each of them to pollthe community and find ideas for the campaign, as well as peoplewho possibly have some marketing expertise and who are interestedin serving with the group.

“If we wait for too long, we could miss the Christmas season,”Massengill said.

Phillips also asked the board for permission for the committeeto use the $12,000 set aside in the budget to begin implementingmarketing strategies as they begin to gel.

“We’d like the authority to expend the funds once we formulate aplan,” Phillips said. “We’d like to get moving pretty quickly.”

The board granted permission for the committee to use budgetfunds as the campaign begins.

Phillips also told the board that the city’s Web site is readyfor sneak previews. He said Web site designer Jay Perkins said apreview of the site can be accessed atwww.brookhavenms.com/wp/.

Meanwhile, Public Works Director Steve Moreton asked the boardhe had accepted a bid from Puckett Machinery for the city topurchase four generators in case of a citywide power loss. Three ofthem, all 30-watt generators, would go at the fire stations, andthe fourth, a 60-watt, would be sent to the police station.

Moreton said out of the six bids the city took, they had chosenPuckett’s $72,025 bid. Ward Five Alderman D.W. Maxwell said he feltthere could have been better prices.

“I’ve priced every brand of generator there is,” he said. “Iknow we could find them cheaper.”

Other aldermen said that was true, but that quality andknowledge of the source matter in such a decision.

“We could probably find one on eBay,” said Ward One AldermanDorsey Cameron. “But we know Puckett and we can pick up the phoneand call them.”

Moreton said his research showed the 30-watt generators rangefrom $16,721 to $26,772, and the 60-watts range from $20,640 toover $32,000.