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Church asking to assume maintenance of city ditch

City officials are looking into what it would take to allow achurch to take over and maintain a city-owned ditch in front oftheir building.

New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Shelby Mitchell anda group of his congregation members spoke to the board Tuesdaynight, asking how they could obtain or buy the land at 2458 KellyRoad from the city.

Mayor Les Bumgarner said the city would have to advertise for bidson the land, which church members said simply amounts to a ditch,and told the pastor to make sure to put in a bid that day. He saidthe low price would probably be around $500.

“Why $500?” asked congregation member Helen Irvin Clark. “It’snothing but a ditch. It’s not even a fourth of an acre of land. Tomy knowledge that amount of land in Brignall is not worth$500.”

Bumgarner said that he and Mitchell had carried on recent talksabout the parcel and that it could be discussed.

City Attorney Joe Fernald said he would check into what it wouldtake to be able to turn the land over, whether by adversepossession or any other method and city officials would get back tochurch leadership about the issue.

In addition, City Clerk Mike Jinks said officials from theMississippi Development Authority will be in town Friday to do asite visit to Brignall in regard to the city’s request for aCommunity Development Block Grant to help with the Brignall fireloop development.

“That’s the next to last step before approval,” Jinks said.

Bumgarner also told the board that the July tax check for Junesales has come in. Once again, Brookhaven topped Natchez andMcComb’s collections with more than $442,000.

“Of the 20 towns I keep on record, we’re usually number eight ornine,” he said. “Now we’ve finished fifth three months in a row. Imight have to pick some new cities.”

Aldermen were excited about the news.

“I love when we beat McComb,” said Ward One Alderman DorseyCameron, with a big smile.