Board rejects transport hub platform bids

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A few guest appearances and the usual business made for a longnight for city officials as they discussed the possibility of a newdowntown event, the Multi-Modal Transportation Facility and alcoholduring Tuesday’s aldermen meeting.

The ongoing project of the Multi-Modal Transportation Facility willgo on just a little longer, as the third phase of the project willbe delayed for a few weeks after the board agreed to reject all thebids received for the construction of the new platform.

Officials said only one bidder completed the form in compliancewith Buy American, which states a company’s intentions of usingAmerican made materials for construction. Compliance is necessarybecause the city is receiving government assistance in funding theproject.

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However, the lone complier was not the lowest bid.

Phase III of the project entails extending the original platform of80 feet with an additional 320 feet. The Mississippi Department ofTransportation will fund 80 percent of the project and Amtrak willbe picking up the tab for the city’s 20 percent.

Officials think the facility, now 10 years in the making, is worththe wait.

“A couple weeks is just part of it, said Mayor Les Bumgarner. “Tosave thousands of dollars will be worth it.”

The board also received its recommendation on emergency managementfrom committee chairman and Ward Six Alderman David Phillips.

The alderman suggested the board allow room for the purchase of asiren in the next budget and that work continue with the CivilDefense Department to search for grants. Phillips also mentionedthat they have not abandoned the possibility of a text alertsystem, but that it was possibly years away before happening.

“I don’t think we’re ready for it yet,” said Phillips.

The board has amended the city’s alcohol policy to protectestablished businesses that sell alcohol if an establishment, suchas a church, school or funeral home, moves into the area.

The amendment would cause the relocating or new establishment toforfeit its right of not having alcohol sold within the area. Theamendment also protects a place that sells alcohol if it were toswitch ownership, but the business cannot change the nature of itscommerce.

In other business, Mark Porter, Loyd Star fire chief andrepresentative of the Volunteers Firefighters Association, receivedapproval from the board to go ahead with the planning of a barbequecook-off contest. The event is expected to take place May 13 and 14in Railroad Park.

“Every year we try to think up ways to raise money,” said Porter.”There’s always something to work on, try to fix or keep up.”

Porter is hoping to attract volunteer firefighters from Ruth to NewSight to come to town and participate in the cook-off. He alsohopes the event will include several vendors, games and a politicalrally.

“Anything we can put in there to make it a family event,” saidPorter.

Porter mentioned he has received a positive response from communityofficials. Mayor Les Bumgarner suggested he collaborate withBrookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Cliff Brumfield to assist him in working with thebusiness community.

“Some merchants like the activity and some people don’t,” saidBumgarner.