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City’s storm siren installation imminent, Galey tells aldermen

DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Ward 1 Alderman Randy Belcher (from left) and Ward 4 Alderman Shirley Estes were among the board members receiving welcome news Tuesday night regarding the upcoming installation of storm sirens in the city.

DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Ward 1 Alderman Randy Belcher (from left) and Ward 4 Alderman Shirley Estes were among the board members receiving welcome news Tuesday night regarding the upcoming installation of storm sirens in the city.

News of the imminent installation of storm sirens for the city and a discussion of recent increases in sales tax collections highlighted Tuesday night’s board of aldermen meeting.

“We’ve been waiting some 20-odd years for sirens in the city. Well, finally it’s now a reality,” Lincoln County Civil Defense director Clifford Galey told the aldermen.

“We hope to have the sirens installed by the end of the week,” Galey said. The sirens were supposed to be delivered in August, however, equipment malfunctions pushed the arrival date back a month.

The sirens will be dispersed throughout the city in a pattern that ensures all Brookhaven residents will be covered.

Galey mentioned that in the event of a serious storm, all members of the board will receive text warnings from him and given information on what course of action to take to ensure the safety of residents in their wards.

In an unrelated matter, city sales tax revenue for the month of July increased, according to Mayor Joe Cox. “We beat out both McComb and Natchez for the month of July,” said Cox. Total sales tax revenue for the month stood at $437,000 according to the mayor and city clerk’s office.

In other news, Chief of Police Bobby Bell recommended the board rehire former Brookhaven Chief of Police Pap Henderson to provide security at the Amtrak train depot on a part-time basis. The former chief of police will be paid $600 a month to do so and will be eligible for the position Oct. 1.

Amtrak already allocates money toward a police fund in the city, sparing the city additional expenditure. Henderson will open depot doors an hour before the morning and afternoon trains come in.

There have been problems at the depot in recent days, according to Bell and Ward 4 Alderman, Shirley Estes. “We’ve had issues with people loitering around the depot, and some of our city employees have mentioned their concerns,” said Estes.

City Attorney Joe Fernald addressed the board regarding the recent Supreme Court ruling that affirms the open carry law, an issue hotly contested in Mississippi. “Open carry is the law of the land,” Fernald said.

“However, it will still be illegal to carry a firearm onto any city property,” he continued.

On Monday, county supervisors passed a similar ordinance to the one the city passed in July that bans open or concealed firearms on county property.

Chief of Brookhaven Fire Department Tony Weeks asked for, and received, funding from the board to send two of his firemen to the 33rd annual Katy Area Rescue School in Texas. At the school, his firefighters will learn extrication and rescue techniques that can be used in serious traffic accidents to potentially save the lives of accident victims.

Estes commented on the short duration of the meeting which was over in less than 30 minutes. “There wasn’t as much action that needed to be taken. Last night was more of an update, and we were prepared ahead of time so we were able to pass all agenda items quickly.”

The board will meet again on Tuesday Oct. 1.