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Board approves exception to allow church relocation

A local church received a go-ahead to relocate, an annual bikerace picked up speed and aldermen discussed city ordinances duringTuesday’s board meeting.

After waiting for about a month, the Brookway Church of Christ hasbeen given the OK from the board to relocate on Natchez Drive, nearBrookhill on Natchez, from their current location on BrookwayBoulevard. The church needed the aldermen to grant a specialexception to the city’s zoning ordinance to move into therestricted residential district.

“There has been some concern that this is on a valuable piece ofproperty,” said Mayor Les Bumgarner.

Before voting, some aldermen were concerned that the city would belosing tax dollars. The land could have been sold for housing,which is taxable, instead of the church, which in not required topay taxes.

“I don’t think Brookhaven has ever said ‘no’ to a church and thiswasn’t going to be the first time,” said Bumgarner.

In other action, bicyclists can break out their gear and beginpreparing for the annual bike race in downtown.

The board approved street closures in parts of downtown on April 15for the 10th annual Mississippi Gran Prix Bicycle Race.

The race is expected to attract riders from all over and isscheduled to pedal off at 5:30 p.m. The race will be held in thecounty the following night.

“That Friday night when they start going around the block, it’ssomething to see,” said Bumgarner.

The race will also become more kid-friendly this year.

To help increase attendance for the bike race and entertain kids,Mendez Vaughn was granted permission to close streets for aChildren’s Fun Run on the first night of the race at 6 p.m.Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson approved the route and streetclosings.

The board also heard James Magee request that the hours of alcoholsales for The Other Place Bar and Grill be changed from midnightuntil 2 a.m.

“We have a license,” said Magee. “There’s nothing illegal. We wouldjust like more time.”

Magee added that surrounding areas have extended hours of alcoholsales. He mentioned Copiah County sells alcohol until 4 a.m. andPike County serves alcohol until 3 a.m. However, his request wasmet with initial rejection.

“We can’t grant you special permission,” said Bumgarner.

The mayor said the exception would call for a change in the cityordinance, which prohibits the sale of alcohol after midnight.Bumgarner said the board would take the request intoconsideration.