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Aldermen approve memorial street policy

Brookhaven aldermen approved Tuesday nighta policy on renaming streets that would allow streets to bedesignated as memorials rather than be renamed to honorindividuals.

    The policy was prompted by Josie Hightower’s request at the board’sprevious meeting to have Independence Street, where she resides,renamed in honor of her late husband and former electioncommissioner John Hightower.

    Following Hightower’s request, Mayor Les Bumgarner presented boardmembers with two policies to deal with such requests, the memorialstreet policy and another that would rename the street.

    Aldermen acknowledged the merit of honoring Hightower but decidedagainst a policy that would allow actual street names to bechanged. They cited the potential problems of such a policy forservice providers such as the Post Office, Waste Management and 911emergency services, as well as the need to change maps.

    “The memorial policy sounds like the best route,” said Ward SixAlderman David Phillips.

    Ward One Alderman Dorsey Cameron agreed, pointing to memorials onstate highways as a precedent.

    “There’s a memorial to Trooper (George Danny) Nash on Highway 84,”Cameron said. “But it’s still Highway 84.”

    At City Attorney Joe Fernald’s prompting, the board further limitedmemorial streets to neighborhoods. The policy will not allow”through streets” such as Brookway Boulevard or Monticello Streetto be named memorials.

    The policy also limits puts a two-block limit on how much of astreet can be named a memorial. The purpose of the limit was topossibly allow multiple individuals living on a street to behonored if that situation ever arose.

    Alderman at Large Karen Sullivan objected to the two-blocklimit.

    “I don’t like the idea of chopping up a street,” Sullivan said. “Itwaters down the memorial.”

    Other aldermen disagreed, and Sullivan did not vote against thepolicy.

    It addition to the above restrictions, the policy also makes oneblock the minimum length of a memorial street, thus banninghalf-block memorials.

    Under the new policy, applications for a memorial street mustinclude a petition signed by 75 percent on property owners on thestreet in question. Applicants must obtain a statement from thePublic Works Office indicating the estimated costs the city willincur if the proposed naming is approved.

    The application also requires a nonrefundable $250 fee.

    People honored by memorial streets must have been dead for at leasta year before the application process begins.

    Once the application process is complete, aldermen may approve orreject the proposal for a memorial street. Details of what thememorial signs will look like and where they will be located havenot been determined.

    In a similar vein, Sullivan updated the board on her progress toobtain state historical markers for the city.

    Last August, Sullivan requested $10,000 be put in the budget forthe purchase of four state historical markers. Costs have gone upnow, though, and Sullivan said she will probably only be able toobtain three.

    Sullivan has determined the sites she will seek markers for: theLincoln County Historical and Genealogical Museum and B’nai SholomJewish Heritage Museum, Rosehill Cemetery and Ole Brook, theoriginal site of Brookhaven on South First Street.