Aldermen eye RV park regulations

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A committee of aldermen now have a place to start addressing thequestion of where recreational vehicle parks can be placed withincity limits.

The committee of Ward Two Alderman Terry Bates, Ward FourAlderman Shirley Estes and Ward Six Alderman David Phillips saidthey had put most of the pieces together on a possible ordinance.They gave it to the rest of the city board Tuesday, saying thegroup could look over it and fill in the blanks from there.

“We had some advice from some people who have drawn up similarordinances in the past, and (city attorney) Joe (Fernald) haslooked at it,” Estes said.

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Estes added that the guidelines did not yet address the issue ofhow much time constitutes “temporary” as far as how long arecreational vehicle may stay at a park.

“Some of the models we used did,” Estes said. “Onerecommendation was not to exceed 30 days, and one said three monthsin any one-year period.”

The board discussed the zoning issue as a consideration as well,questioning if there needs to be an addendum to a zone that isalready in place, or if each proposed RV park needs to beconsidered individually.

“Maybe we take these things on a case-by-case basis because …our zones aren’t really drawn up for RV parks,” Mayor Les Bumgarnersaid, adding that some cities have several more zoning options thanBrookhaven does. “Maybe we don’t have enough zones.”

Board members decided they will look over the suggestions anddiscuss further ideas in the future.

In other board action, Mike Corkern of the Airport DevelopmentGroup spoke to the board about some unexpected expenses incurredwhen crews realized the underground fuel farm at the BrookhavenMunicipal Airport actually consisted of four tanks instead ofthree.

“We needed to remove all four, which means the area needing tobe removed and repaired is bigger,” Corkern said.

In addition, he explained, one of the tanks was bigger thanexpected. But, he told the board, the fuel farm project is almostcomplete, pending some minor repairs and a final inspection.

During his alderman report, Bates asked the board what theythought about hiring a grant writer to help the city access fundsavailable that they might not currently be trying to obtain.

“These people can come up with this money or they know how toget it,” he said. “Before we find it, it’s over, it’s deadline …there’s a lot of money out there that we let got because there’snot someone there to find it.”

Bumgarner said grants are tricky to obtain, but that as long asthere are funds to match, they can be a good thing.

“The thing about grants is that they’re like Easter eggs, theyhide them and once everyone finds them, they hide them again,” hesaid. “You have to constantly be chasing them.”

The board also discussed streetlight placement and coming upwith a system to place them fairly and uniformly throughout thecity, based on the area’s density and other issues such as need andsafety.

The mayor also gave brief updates on several construction andarea betterment projects, and Phillips pointed out the work of theMaster Gardeners and Americorps for their work in Ward Six’s Kids’Kingdom.

“It looks really good over there, and we really appreciate it,”he said.

Aldermen also officially went on the record saying JosephineStreet will be closed as a part of the development around theBrookhaven Multi-Modal facility. An exact date for the closure hasnot yet been determined.