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Aldermen appoint new election commissioner

THE DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / City Clerk Michael Jinks (from left), Ward One Alderman Randy Belcher and Ward Four Alderman Shirley Estes examine a proposal from a local veterans' group Tuesday night.

THE DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / City Clerk Michael Jinks (from left), Ward One Alderman Randy Belcher and Ward Four Alderman Shirley Estes examine a proposal from a local veterans’ group Tuesday night.

Personnel changes, including the appointment and confirmation of a new election commissioner, and updates on city engineering projects characterized much of Tuesday night’s board of aldermen meeting.

Ron Donegan will be taking over as election commissioner, a post previously held by George Brumfield, who resigned in 2013.

The board also accepted the resignation and termination of two employees from the Solid Waste Department. In turn, the board approved the hiring of two employees with the department.

Brookhaven Police Chief Bobby Bell requested the board hire a non-certified officer, which was approved.

City officials are looking into expanding water and sewer services into formerly annexed areas of the city, and Mike McKenzie of WGK Engineering is now determining what areas to concentrate on. McKenzie expects to have a cost estimate for the board’s review at the next aldermen’s meeting.

“We are moving forward with the first phase of providing services. We are determining what areas to pursue with these services makes best sense,” he said.

So long as weather cooperates, utility work will continue at American Railcar Inc., and work on the new facility should be completed by early March, said McKenzie.

WGK is also working with the safe routes to school program, which upgrading walkways near area schools with a grant the city received. McKenzie suggested this work, along with a paving project on Brookhaven Boulevard, should be completed by September.

A local veterans’ group appeared before the board Tuesday night with a request for funding for an expansion of the Lincoln County Veteran’s Memorial in front of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Government Complex.

The group, which submitted a similar request to the board of supervisors, requested $5,000 from the city. The group calculates it would take approximately $10,000 total to get started on the project.

Largely, the funding would pay for individual bricks that would honor Lincoln County veterans. The bricks would include the name of the veteran, years of service and time spent in war. Collectively, the bricks would form a wall that extends around the current memorial.

“We think this project would entice people to come into the city. It’s also a great way to honor the service men and women in the community,” said veterans’ group member Derrall Foster.

The board elected to take the matter under advisement.

The board approved a request from “Ole Brook Cruisers,” a group of car enthusiasts, to allow the use of the North and South Railroad parking lots for their annual car show on March 7-8.

The board voted unanimously to approve Trustmark Bank as the city’s depository for 2014 and 2015.

In other business, the board:

• Awarded off-road diesel bids.

• Approved the minutes of the regular meeting of Jan. 21.

• Approved January salaried and weekly payrolls.

• Approved funds for a water clerk to attend a management and technical conference and exhibition.

• Approved funds for two fire department members to attend Hale Fire Pump Rebuilding class.

• Approved funds for two fire department members to attend a Confined Space Rescue class.

• Approved payment in the amount of $5,900 to Sample, Hicks and Associates for work on the American Railcar Inc. project.

• Approved the state mileage reimbursement rate of 56 cents per mile.

• Approved advertising to receive bids for lawn maintenance in the city.

The board will meet again Feb. 18.