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Aldermen hear request for bridge repair work

THE DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / City Attorney Joe Fernald (front left) hands out an updated version of the city beer ordinance to City Clerk Michael Jinks, Alderman Randy Belcher and other board members Tuesday night. Looking on (in back) is Mayor Joe Cox.

THE DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / City Attorney Joe Fernald (front left) hands out an updated version of the city beer ordinance to City Clerk Michael Jinks, Alderman Randy Belcher and other board members Tuesday night. Looking on (in back) is Mayor Joe Cox.

Ryan Holmes of Dungan Engineering appeared before the board of aldermen at Tuesday night’s meeting and reported on the status of two bridges in dire need of repair on South Washington Street.

“Both of these bridges are in bad shape. The question now really is whether or not you decide to close them or repair them. I’m here to go through all possibilities.”

Holmes offered the board several options including bridge repair, replacement or possible closure.

The board voted unanimously to approve repair work estimated to cost $25,000 on the first bridge, located just south of Rance Drive. The county will split repair costs on the bridge with the city, according to Holmes.

The status of the second bridge, located approximately a mile south of the first bridge, will be determined at a future board meeting, as the aldermen could not reach a decision Tuesday night on whether to make repairs or to close the bridge.

Replacement of the bridge could cost the city over half a million dollars. A “semi-permanent fix,” which would include repairing bridge culverts but would leave much of the bridge unaltered, would cost close to $50,000, Holmes noted. Besides the cost, city officials voiced other concerns at the meeting.

Citing a history of criminal activity in the bridge’s proximity, including the dumping of a murdered man on a secluded stretch of the street in October of 2013, Brookhaven Chief of Police argued for the partial closure of Washington Street at a November aldermen’s meeting.

“We have always had problems on that stretch of road where the bridge is located. Nothing good goes on down there,” Bell said Tuesday night.

However, Ward Three Alderman Mary Wilson and Ward Two Alderman Terry Bates suggested repairs to the bridge and installation of city lighting could alleviate these concerns.

Flooding will always be a problem, Holmes also noted, due to the bridge’s location within a flood plain.

Ward Six Alderman David Phillips advised Holmes to determine a more solid estimate of repair costs for the bridge and report back to the board.

The board also approved Dungan Engineering as engineers for the preparation and submission of an airport multi-modal grant application.

In personnel matters, the board approved a request by Chief Bell to create new ranks within the police department, which led to eight board-approved promotions for police patrolman and sergeants. All eight will move up the rankings ladder and now serve under the official position of corporals and master sergeants.

Also, the board accepted the resignation of a police department employee and the termination of another employee with the department. The board approved hiring Marvin Derrell Fleeting as a non-certified police officer.

In other business, the board approved a request by Stephen Bozeman of NAPA auto parts store in Brookhaven to use half of the north Railroad Park parking lot for a “Rock-n-Roll Tool Show” to be held on March 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The board also:

• Approved off-road diesel bids.

• Approved the February 2014 fire department report showing 21 runs inside the city and two runs outside the city.

• Received the February 2014 Municipal Court Report showing revenue of $78,924.71.

• Approved claims docket numbers for a total of $2,606,392.03.

• Received the February 2014 Revenue and Expenditure Report.

• Approved electronic purchase orders.

• Approved the professional services agreement with WGK Inc. for elevated storage tank rehabilitation on Ingram Street.

• Approved the purchase of a new bush hog for the airport at a price of $6,379.

• Awarded the bid of Lombardo Industries for lawn maintenance on the exit 40 interchange, Brookway Boulevard, Highway 51 and other designated areas, in the amount of $1,435 per cutting.

The board will meet again Tuesday, April 1.