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Sirens go live on test across city

DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Ward Two Alderman Terry Bates and Mayor Joe Cox look over items on Tuesday night's board of aldermen meeting agenda.

DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Ward Two Alderman Terry Bates and Mayor Joe Cox look over items on Tuesday night’s board of aldermen meeting agenda.

While Brookhaven-Lincoln County Civil Defense/Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey, was unable to make it to the board of aldermen meeting, his presence was heard all across the city at approximately 8:10 p.m. Tuesday.

Storm sirens that arrived in the city in September are finally in working order and could be heard being tested throughout the city Tuesday night.

“Last night’s exercise was a test to ensure the sirens are in working order,” said Galey. “We are happy to finally have them here.”

Meanwhile, at the aldermen meeting, Brookhaven Chief of Police Bobby Bell suggested the board allow the complete shutdown of Washington Street due to recent events, including the discovery of a deceased body in that area.

Bell cited a high criminal history and lack of city upkeep as primary reasons for the closing. Bell’s idea is to close both ends of the street, before the bridge, but to still allow current residents of the street passage to and fro.

“There’s nothing but crime down there. You can barely see one foot in front of your face,” said Bell.

Ward Three Alderman, Mary Wilson agreed. “I say we close it.” Washington Street is in Wilson’s ward.

Ward Two Alderman, Terry Bates proposed the city perform upkeep and maintenance on the street instead of closing it.

“I think we need to get lights over there, and provide more city maintenance to the street,” said Bates.

Ward Six Alderman David Phillips proposed a temporary closing of the street until city officials came up with a more permanent solution.

“I suggest we close the street temporarily, and revisit the issue,” said Phillips.

The board tabled the Washington Street matter until the next aldermen’s meeting Nov. 19, when they will revisit the matter and make a decision.

In city personnel news, the board accepted the resignation of Isaiah Turner from the solid waste department.

Water Department Supervisor Keith Lewis mentioned the resignation of Lonnie Robertson Sr., who is retiring, and the termination of another employee. The board also approved three additional employees to work in the water department. Lewis brought his team of workers to the meeting, and praised their reliability and work ethic to the board.

Also, the board approved the hiring of Joe Jackson as dozer operator for the solid waste department.

In other business, the board approved Gov. Phil Bryant’s proclamation of two extra days to the holiday season, including the day after Thanksgiving, or “Black Friday,” and Christmas Eve.

Two business owners requested beer permits for their existing businesses. The board approved both requests, one for Golden China restaurant at 637 W. Congress St., and another for the Happy Food Mart at 424 S. First St.

Aldermen approved October 2013 salaried payrolls, weekly payrolls and the transfer of funds to cover close to $500,000 in city expenses.

City school board member and CPA, Pat Lowery, provided the board information on an audit report for 2012. Despite a small decrease in the fund balance, Lowery had promising news for the city.

“This is a very good report. There’s a good deal of positive cash flow here,” he said.