Board approves resolution for lumber company

Published 8:52 pm Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It’s possible that the lumber debates are coming to an end, asthe board of aldermen presented a resolution in response to thesecond of two lumber companies that have relocated toBrookhaven.

Great Southern Wood Preserving has been discussing with the citythe possibility of drilling its own non-potable well because of theamount of water they end up using to keep the wood hydrated.Meanwhile, the city has an ordinance against companies beingallowed to drill their own wells.

The board-approved resolution, which closely resembles the oneissued to Rex Lumber earlier this year, states that the companywill not be allowed to drill a well, but they will be charged a setrate for sewage unless they begin producing and putting more refuseinto the city sewage system.

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“Before Christmas we met in a conference call with Great Southernand explained our position, and we’ve done same thing with themthat we did with Rex,” said City Attorney Joe Fernald. “This is theposition that the committee came up with.”

In addition to the agreement on the well and the sewer, the cityrequires that GSWP will pay taxes to the Brookhaven Separate SchoolDistrict. They also will not be granted the In State ProductsInventory Exemption, but all the other tax exemptions requestedwill be granted for five years.

At the end of five years, the resolution states, GSWP can apply torenew the exemptions based on their employment and developmentbased on their initial projections.

In other discussion, aldermen are researching building heightguidelines in regards to an assisted living facility that isplanned on Monticello Street across from the Inez Hotel.

The city currently has an ordinance requiring buildings to not bemore than five stories and 55 feet high. Mayor Les Bumgarner toldthe board that the plans show the assisted living facility could beabout 63 feet high.

Gayle Evans, the building developer, has already been given anexemption on the height, but the board discussed whether thecurrent ordinance is feasible.

“I thought while we were addressing his height, we could addressour ordinance,” said Bumgarner.

Ward Five Alderman D.W. Maxwell said outside counsel should beconsulted before coming up with a hard-and-fast number.

“If we’re going to change it, we need to get some goodinformation,” he said.

And in other business dealings, evangelist and dance studio ownerThelma Lindsey, a Chicago transplant, came to the board to discussher plans for a rehabilitation home for women who have been tojail.

Lindsey said she’s been doing prison ministry for about five years,and she sees a need in Brookhaven to give women coming out of thejail system a shot at a normal life.

“These women are mothers, sisters, wives and daughters,” she said.”They want to be better parents, better wives, better daughters,but they leave jail and go back into the environment that broughtthem there in the first place.”

The home will be called “Safe Haven,” Lindsey said, and it will beopen to women age 16 and up.

“If they want their GED, we’ll help them get it, and we’ll helpthem go get jobs and open up bank accounts,” she said. “We wantthem to be able to do what we would do in society. We want to takethem shopping and let them see what a normal life is without havingsticky fingers … there’s a story for everyone.”

Lindsey also spoke to the Lincoln County Board of SupervisorsTuesday morning. Both city and county officials encouraged her andcommended her on her vision.