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Aldermen look into closing section of S. Washington St.

THE DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Mayor Joe Cox and City Clerk Mike Jinks contemplate the closure of a section of South Washington Street during discussion of the matter at Tuesday night's board of aldermen's meeting.

THE DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Mayor Joe Cox and City Clerk Mike Jinks contemplate the closure of a section of South Washington Street during discussion of the matter at Tuesday night’s board of aldermen meeting.

Promotions of current city officials and the hiring of new ones, as well as agreement on the need tor the partial closure of South Washington Street, characterized Tuesday night’s board of aldermen’s meeting.

The board re-visited Brookhaven Police Chief Bobby Bell’s intent to close down an extended stretch of South Washington Street and settled on a closure.

Residents that might be inconvenienced by the move are seemingly on board with the decision, said Bell.

“Most of the people we’ve talked to are OK with this decision. They don’t like what has been going on there either,” said Bell, referring to recent criminal activity on the isolated section of roadway.

Arrangements will be made to ensure the affected residents have access to and from their residences, said Bell.

While in agreement, City Attorney Joe Fernald stipulated how the city should approach the matter.

Fernald, who has consulted with the board of supervisors’ attorney Bob Allen, suggested that the street be closed due to necessary repairs to the bridge.

“We are talking about closing the street. We are not abandoning it. The bridge on that stretch of road is in need of repair anyways. We can shut it down for repairs, at least temporarily for now,” Fernald suggested.

The board also approved three promotions for Brookhaven firemen, including the promotion of Lt. Charles Williams to captain. Jeremy Robbins and Nicholas Gamble were promoted to lieutenants, respectively.

In related action, the board approved Grant Britt and Carlos Byrd as non-certified firemen. Before Britt and Byrd become certified, they will serve under a probationary timeframe with the department.

Samantha Melancon, who works closely with City Clerk Mike Jinks, will see an increase in her salary upon completion of her certification for deputy city clerk.

Finally in personnel matters, the board approved the hire of Cristi Williams as a certified police officer.

The rolling roadblocks executed by the Brookhaven Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Southwest Mississippi Narcotic’s Unit Friday and Saturday night were also fresh on the minds of the aldermen, who praised Bell and the department for their efforts.

Ward Four Alderman Shirley Estes said, “The roadblocks brought good attention, chief. Residents in my ward said they felt better knowing you were out there.”

Mike McKenzie with WGK Engineering updated the board on projects under way, and proposed a way for the city to save close to a quarter of a million dollars.

After an annual inspection, the health department mandated that the city needs to paint two water tanks, one on south First Street and one on Ingram Street.

According to McKenzie, the tank on First Street is unnecessary. “I’m asking for your blessing to take the tank offline. It won’t hurt your ability to serve the city. In fact, the tank isn’t really serving a purpose right now,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie proposed that money that would have been used to paint the First St. tank, instead be used for the Ingram Street tank.

“The city can save some money here,” said McKenzie.

In other business, the board approved numerous agenda items, including:

• Off-road diesel bids.

• A revenue and expenditure report for October.

• A fire department report showing 17 runs inside the city and one run outside.

• A municipal court report for October.

• Electronic purchases.

• A fuel supply agreement.

• Water maintenance projects.

• Police and fire uniform bids.

• Chemicals for the water treatment plant.

• Chemicals for the wastewater treatment plant.

The board will meet again Tuesday, Dec. 3.