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Community designated for Tree City USA title

Brookhaven is now an official Tree City USA city, havingcompleted the four standards needed to earn the title, Mayor LesBumgarner told the board of aldermen at Tuesday night’smeeting.

A city must also have completed an application and set up a treeboard. City board members have agreed that each alderman appoints aknowledgeable representative to the tree board in upcoming months.So far five members have been appointed and two more slots are yetto be filled.

In addition, the city must have an ordinance setting guidelinesabout trees on city property, as well as a proclamation honoringArbor Day, aimed at informing the community about the positives ofhaving trees.

Finally, a city must donate $2 per capita to maintain urbanforests, officials said.

Bumgarner read the letter from Tree City USA officials to theboard Tuesday night, congratulating the city on theachievement.

The board also entertained an appearance from Brookhaven-LincolnCounty Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President CliffBrumfield, who was there to tell them about the relocation ofM&M Milling, which will be moving into the old SpecialtyMinerals facility.

The board agreed to sign a letter of intent to honor a FreeportWarehouse Exemption, as well as a 10-year ad valorum exemption onthe land, buildings and equipment.

Brumfield informed them that both of those are routineexemptions for new industries, and that the business will fill outa formal application when they have all their equipment on site andhave settled in.

Bumgarner thanked Brumfield for his good work at the chamberduring the city’s tough economic times.

“I think in the last six months you’ve done a super job ofkeeping Brookhaven afloat,” he said. “You’re the point man on allthat, and we appreciate it. Being able to add jobs during a timelike this is certainly appreciated.”

Brumfield assured the board that the sky is the limit from whereBrookhaven sits now.

“We’ve made it through the tough part, and better days arearound the corner,” he said.

The board also agreed on a committee to help look throughproposals from architects on the FEMA 361 storm shelter that willbe built on Industrial Park Road.

Bumgarner selected Alderman at large Karen Sullivan to lead thecommittee, citing the fact that she does not have prior dealingswith any of the eight companies that have submitted proposals.

“We want to keep an open mind and look at it objectively,” hesaid. “We want to make sure we’re treating everyone fairly.’

Bumgarner said the committee will use a rating system and rateeach application and come up with the highest-rated.

In addition, officials said they want to look at potential otheruses for the building, which will be able to hold up to 800people.

“We want to design a building that will serve many purposes,”Bumgarner said, pointing out that the county and city do not have aplace to put people once there are more than 300 or 400 at atime.