Alliance continues business park work

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Brookhaven-Lincoln County Economic Development Alliance isworking to secure rights-of-way into Linbrook Business Park thatwill allow its well to tie into the city water system on the westend of Brookhaven as planned, alliance officials said.

The purchase of a few small strips of land connecting BrookwayBoulevard Extension to the park – a distance of approximately 200yards – is all that is needed before connecting infrastructure canbe laid to connect the two systems. Once connected, the park’s welland tank will bolster the city system with increased supply andpressure.

The water lines connecting the two systems cannot be laid untilthe property is acquired.

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“The alliance is going through the necessary steps to purchase asmall amount of land needed for location of water and sewer lines,”said Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Cliff Brumfield. “The land has been appraised, and thealliance is working through its attorneys to purchase it – it’s avery amicable transaction.”

Alliance Chairman Mike Jinks said there is no time frame on thepurchase. He said the alliance is not in a rush, as the park in itsentirety is not scheduled for completion until July. The legalprocess is still ongoing, he said.

“As quickly as we can get ’em, we’re going to get ’em,” Jinkssaid of the land parcels.

The property acquisition process may be ongoing, but the 1million-gallon elevated tank and its accompanying pump are on theverge of completion, said Pickering Firm Inc., Project EngineerJeff Green.

Since the tank was hoisted into position high above the park inSeptember, Green said the structure has been painted inside and outand is almost ready to hold potable water. Some mechanical work,like the installation of pipes, remains to be done, he said.

The 1,200-foot deep well’s pump house has been constructed,Green said, and the machinery and instruments that will operate thepump are being installed.

In fact, the entire system is so near completion that Green andthe Alliance are only a few weeks away from the pump’s initialtesting – one of the last steps before the tank is ready to holdwater.

“Once we get all that ready to roll, we can start thinking aboutputting water in the tank,” Green said.

Green said the system is configured to pump 500 gallons perminute, but can be adjusted up to 750 gallons per minute. Plans arefor the pump to remain on the 500 setting unless the additionalpower is needed, he said, and before a switch can be made thealliance will make sure that much pumping power doesn’t adverselyaffect other wells in the area. Green said there are two otherwells within a mile of the park.

Running the pump on its higher setting will create more pressurefor the park and city systems, Green said, as well as reducing wearand tear on the machinery.

“It’s just like your car engine – the less it runs, the longerit lasts,” he said. “It lets you run your pump less time to getmore water.”

Green said the tank will not be filled until it is ready forconnection with the city system. The park’s water lines will not beready for another eight months, and the water in the tank will haveno use if it is filled now.

The pump test is scheduled for mid-December – when the originalcontract is set to end – though leeway from weather delays due toHurricane Gustav in early September may allow the contract tocontinue into early January, Green said.

With the water system almost complete and the last parcels ofproperty nearing acquisition, the entire park will be ready toreceive new industries by July, when local contractor Oddee Smithand Sons, Inc., should be finished installing $2.5 million worth ofroadways and infrastructure.

“Construction on Linbrook has progressed well in recent months,”Brumfield said. “It’s now easy to see exactly how well-laid out theinfrastructure will be and how attractive the future industrialsites will be.”