Board opts to seek bids for paving

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Brookhaven Board of Aldermen took a step Tuesday toward theofficial beginning of a paving project that has proven contentiousin recent weeks.

The board voted to begin advertising for project bids. The board’sAug. 2 meeting will be the soonest the city board could approve abid.

“The best case scenario is to begin paving the beginning of Octoberor maybe the end of September,” said Mayor Les Bumgarner.

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Controversy has existed among the board as to the best division ofthe $500,000 paving budget. The shares of the paving budgetallocated to Bumgarner and Alderman at Large Karen Sullivan willnot be split evenly among the wards.

“Wards Two and Five have not received any of the extra money. Ithink they should get some of it,” said Ward Five Alderman D.W.Maxwell. “That may mean a project that has been promised funding wemay have to back off of.”

The council voted at a previous meeting to divide the money onlyamong the six ward aldermen, but Bumgarner vetoed that decision.That returned the paving money to be divided eight ways.

Bumgarner said on Tuesday that since the exact amount of theproject cost is not known yet, final allocation decisions cannot bemade.

“This may work itself out,” Bumgarner said.

The board also voted on Tuesday to move forward with a proposedlandscaping project for the community’s new industrial park.

Tom Eaves, a Hattiesburg architect, spoke at Tuesday’s meeting andpresented plans detailing extensive landscaping additions toLinbrook Business Park. His plans call for the addition of live oaktrees and a hedge of magnolia trees.

Ward Four Alderman Shirley Estes expressed concerns about whetherlive oak trees would present a problem for trucks.

“The live oaks will have to be periodically pruned and trimmed upto allow clearance for trucks,” Eaves said. “They are slow-growingtrees, though, so I don’t think it will present a problem.”

As with the paving project, the board voted to accept bids for thelandscaping. The landscaping project will be paid for by federalgrant money.