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City officials answer water, sewer concerns

During a community meeting last night, residents of the Brignall community expressed concerns over water and sewer, roads and other questions regarding services after the annexation of their community by the city of Brookhaven.  

The event was hosted at Beulah Chapel M.B. Church, in association with the Brookhaven/Lincoln County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Present at the meeting to answer questions from Brookhaven’s citizens was Ward 1 Alderman Randy Belcher. Mayor Joe Cox and Water and Sewer Superintendent Keith Lewis, who both had to leave for another engagement, were present at the beginning of the meeting providing responses to a few questions before turning it over to Belcher. As the meeting progressed Alderwoman-At-Large Karen Sullivan arrived and provided help with some of the citizens’ concerns.

“The turn out was good,” Belcher said. “The people asked a lot of questions, and I think they got a lot of answers.”

Belcher said his reason for initiating such a meeting was to address concerns he’d been receiving about water and sewer in the area. He said the meeting would be helpful in delivering information straight from someone from the city administration rather than second-hand from a neighbor.

Going along with the main topic of discussion, concerns dealt with billing for services after death or moving to another residence, gravel roads, potholes, driveway covers and enhancements to the Brignall community to show its connection with the city such as sidewalks and a park.

Other issues included questions about water quality and bill payments in regards to how they should be handled while the purchase of Lincoln Rural Water by the city is underway.

Johnnie Upkins, has family in the annexed area and feels the meeting went well.

“We heard a lot of concerns, and I believe a lot will be resolved,” she said.

She said that she looks forward to solved issues in the Brignall area and a combined effort for clean-up on Ellis Road.

The meeting closed out with different candidates speaking to those gathered. Those present were Lavon Boyd for Constable Post 2, Carl Brown for Justice Court Judge and Steve Rushing for Lincoln County Sheriff.

All throughout the meeting, both Belcher and president of the Brookhaven/Lincoln County NAACP Bernetta Character stressed the importance of voting and the power for citizens to choose their representatives.

Belcher said the vote is power. “When you walk through the door to vote, I have the utmost respect for you,” Belcher said. “It adds a bite to your bark.”

Both Belcher and Character stressed that there are enough people populating the Brignall community to put anybody they want in office if they’d get out and vote and encourage others to do the same.

“What we need to focus on is voting, getting the person we want in office and helping out with offering solutions to the concerns we have,” Belcher said.

Character expressed at the end of the meeting that more community meetings throughout the wards of the city are upcoming as well as a city-wide meeting and conversation about the new baseball complex being built.