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NRCS honors Massengill

In front of the new Brookhaven Police Department building onHighway 51 South stands a living tribute to Mayor Bob Massengilland the five years he has spent at the city’s helm.

A live oak planted by the Natural Resource Conservation Servicein Massengill’s honor was dedicated Friday, which was also ArborDay.

“Out of 32 cities and 24 counties, the city of Brookhaven underMayor Massengill’s watch was the most efficient and effective groupthat we worked with to get things done within a given time frame,”said Wesley Kerr, NRCS Area Conservationist for SouthernMississippi. “I never had to say that this mayor and board ofaldermen were dragging around and wasting time. I never had to makethat call.”

Kerr said it was Massengill’s cooperation and timeliness thatprompted the NRCS to plant a tree in his honor. It was also becauseof more than $924,000 in NRCS funds the city has been granted foruse in watershed protection program projects.

“All these things happened on your watch,” Kerr told Massengill.”The people will soon speak and choose your replacement, but thisis your day.”

Massengill is not seeking re-election in this year’s municipalcontests.

NRCS Southern Area Vice President Gary Blair said the NRCS, theMaster Gardeners and Brookhaven Beautiful felt it fitting to put ina tree in Massengill’s honor because of his dedicated service andhis outstanding performance as a mayor and alderman.

“This is something we talked about and who better to honor thanyou with the planting of this tree?” he told Massengill. “Andthere’s no more fitting site than the police station to honor yourservice as mayor. You have done so much in four years, and wereally appreciate that dedication and vision for the city.”

Massengill said the distinction is quite an honor, and that heis glad to have been able to have served the city.

“This is really special for me today,” he said. “I want to thankyou all for honoring me. Arbor Day is a special day, and I reallyappreciate NRCS spearheading this effort.”

A plaque will be put up in the near future to designate the treededicated to Massengill’s term in office, but the mayor said hewould never forget the honor.

“It’s really special to me that someone would do this for me,”he said. “And it’s someone who has worked so closely with the city.It means a lot.”

Ward Four Alderwoman Shirley Estes led the charge as a group ofMaster Gardeners gathered to put the tree in the ground.

“Let’s plant a tree,” she said. “Everybody grab a shovel!”