Aldermen OK city Comprehensive Plan

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brookhaven’s Comprehensive Plan is now in place to guide thecity into the future. And after not having a plan for the last 30years, city leaders are excited about going forward with it.

“This has long been needed by this city, because the last onewas 30 years ago,” Mayor Bob Massengill said. “My hope is that thisplan will be a road map for y’all and for boards to come. I hopethat it will be used and used often, and updated every four to fiveyears.”

The board voted unanimously to accept the final copy of thedocument, compiled by the city’s Comprehensive Planning Committeeand Oxford-based city planning firm Slaughter and Associates.

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Massengill reminded the board that the plan is a living documentand can be updated and amended to fit the changing times.

“Every page has three holes punched in it so you can take outpages and revise them as you need to,” he said. “I think we’ve gota good plan here, and keep in mind that the things we planned forthe short term can be changed, the things that are mid-range andlong range can be changed.”

Meanwhile, with work on the Halbert Heights drainage ditch closeto completion, city leaders are hoping for help to fundimprovements in other drainage channels throughout Brookhaven.

Mike McKenzie of Williford Gearhart and Knight told the boardTuesday that work on the Halbert Heights ditch is within two orthree weeks of completion.

“It’s drug out longer than we wanted, but we’re nearing thefinish line,” he said,.

McKenzie added that there is some extra rock that may be usedfor part of the ditch behind the Stan King dealership, but thatwill be determined in the next week or so.

Public Works Director Steve Moreton also said he is working withWGK on what he called a “wish project” to apply for funding on twoother ditch projects – one being the Linton ditch on Spring Drive,and the other being the one that runs in front of Legacy Toyotadealership on Brookway Boulevard.

“There’s a lot of siltation there and the banks are sloughing,”Moreton said.

The city will apply for grants from the National ResourcesConservation Service for help in up keeping those ditches. Moretonsaid he hoped that instead of riprapping the ditches, that the NRCSwould allow a different kind of fortification involving aninterlocking block system.

“They may not participate to this extent, and we could end upsloping and regrassing the ditches,” he said.

Moreton said the funds may be available, however, based on thefact that Brookhaven has recently had several events of heavy rainthat have caused erosion in ditches around the city.

Massengill told the board it is usually an 85 percent grant,with the city matching 15 percent.

“We have to decide if we want to fund the 15,” he said. “The newmayor and the board will have to make sure to follow up onthis.”

Also, new Brookhaven Municipal Airport Manager Dr. Al Morrowcame to the board for ratification of new airport rules. Morrowsaid he had written the rules in an easier-to-understandlanguage.

“I’m not trying to get fluffy or legal, because I’m not anattorney, and most people that are reading it aren’t,” he said.”I’m just trying to keep it simple.”

The new rules cover things from airspace regulations to trashdisposal to where vehicular traffic can flow on airportproperty.

The board also voted to move the date to swear in new officialsfrom Monday, July 6 to Tuesday, July 7 at 9 a.m. The swear-in datemove was done due to Monday’s official holiday observance of theFourth of July, which falls on a Saturday this year.