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Bicentennial Park to get a facelift

DAILY LEADER / NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY / Bicentennial Park is undergoing more renovations using the funds the city received from its Healthiest Hometown designation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. Alderman-at-large Karen Sullivan said the added sidewalk and boardwalk (above) make the park handicap accessible. She said that next week eight 24-foot lights will be installed along the park’s walking trail.

DAILY LEADER / NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY / Bicentennial Park is undergoing more renovations using the funds the city received from its Healthiest Hometown designation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. Alderman-at-large Karen Sullivan said the added sidewalk and boardwalk (above) make the park handicap accessible. She said that next week eight 24-foot lights will be installed along the park’s walking trail.

The City of Brookhaven is using grant funds to make improvements to Bicentennial Park in a continuing effort to make the city healthier.

These upgrades include new lighting and a new walking trail through the park.

Last summer, Brookhaven received $50,000 from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation after being named Healthiest Hometown.

Alderwoman-at-large Karen Sullivan said earlier in the fiscal year the board approved payment for improvements to Bicentennial Park as recommended by the city’s Healthy Hometown committee.

According to those recommendations, Sullivan said all improvements to the park are budgeted through the Healthiest Hometown Award. She assured the board that Brookhaven Parks and Recreation Executive Director Terry Reid has followed the proper procedure in receiving at least two quotes for the items over $5,000.

“We have worked hard to get the best prices possible while maintaining quality work on all these items,” Sullivan said. “And we will continue to do so.”

The funds will be applied toward the following improvements: purchasing eight 24-foot poles and eight 250-watt light bulbs costing $5,892 from Garner Lumbly Electric, installing the eight lights by Raborn Electric at $17,200, construction of a 5-foot by 100-foot concrete sidewalk by Lewellyn Watkins costing $2,650 and construction of a boardwalk at the park entrance with benches and a ramp. The boardwalk and ramp has been constructed to comply with guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Sullivan said that Great Southern Wood donated all the treated pine lumber for the boardwalk. The board approved all improvements, including purchasing of landscape materials, such as soil amendments, plants, stones and mulch.

In other board business, the board approved the following:

• Approved, at the request of Brian Adkins, the application and resolution for up to a 10 year Ad Valorem Tax Exemption for Delphi Automotive Systems, LLC for improvements to the facility in 2014, subject to the approval of the state.

• Approved, at the request of Brookhaven Police Department Commander David Johnson, to adopt a resolution so the department can apply for a FY16 Sub Grant. The grant would allow the department to hire a DUI Officer who will be in charge of handling DUI cases and other such traffic offenses. Money from the grant will cover the officer’s salary, car and other expenses.

• Approved, at the request of board member Shirley Estes of Ward 4, to carry over, into the 2015 budget, the $25,000 the city received from a 2014 Canadian National grant for tree planting.

• Approved, at the request of Alderwoman-at-large Karen Sullivan, to carry over, into the 2015 budget, the remainder of funds received from the city’s 2013 Healthier Hometown recognition. Brookhaven won this award two years ago for their population category (5,001 to 14,999 residents).

• Approved the hiring of David Fearn as building inspector for the city. Alderman Terry Bates of Ward 2 voted against the motion.

• Approved to use TempStaff, a temporary employment agency, to fill the temporary secretarial position in the Purchasing/Building Inspector’s office.

• Approved payment for WGK, Inc. in the amount of $7,550 for the 2014 CDBG Sewer Rehab Project in the Cherokee Street, Chickasaw Street and Minnesota Street area southeast of City Hall. The project included smoke testing to find deficiencies in the sewage system.