City explores options for pavement projects
Brookhaven officials are considering increasing the city’s paving allowance in order to resurface some city streets.
Ward 6 Alderman David Phillips proposed to increase the paving allowance for the next two years at the Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday. The project would cost $2.25 million. The current budget sits at $750,000.
Each alderman has previously been asked to evaluate and make a list of the streets they would want fixed.
Ward 2 Alderman Terry Bates said he would not be able to agree to the proposal until he knew which streets were going to be fixed. Mayor Joe Cox clarified the proposal was just to set the budget to get started, not to define exact streets, and that would be done after much input from the board and engineers.
Bates said he would agree to the budget if engineers were going to evaluate the streets with priority, which is what other board members said would be the process of deciding allocations. The board did not take action to approve the increase of the paving allowance.
Engineer Ryan Holmes addressed the board on possible ways to improve parking downtown, as well as engineering some city streets. The streets have been assessed and graded according to priority of need. Holmes said by evaluating the findings of the street assessment and coordinating materials specific to the street’s issue rather than using one material for the entire city, money can be saved.
“If we were to hire you to engineer our streets, you would assess our streets, come in and recommend what type of materials to use and in doing that potentially we could gain 30 to 40 percent extra mileage?” Phillips asked.
Holmes confirmed, and Cox said this was in line with board wishes.
The board will discuss road engineering projects at a work session Tuesday at 2 p.m. Suggestions for downtown parking solutions have been taken under advisement and will be revisited.
Jason Snider, Brookhaven Trust president, addressed the board on Brookhaven becoming a Certified Local Government with the Department of Archives and History. The trust has offered a $10,000 grant to help with renovations on the old train deport contingent on the city becoming CLG certified and receiving the Community Heritage Preservation Grant
City attorney Joe Fernald said the board needed to carefully create the ordinances for the CLG certification. This will be discussed at Tuesday’s work session.
Brookhaven resident Bobby Hall addressed the board with concerns about a neighbor’s structures being too close to the property line, not meeting laws. Fernald said he would check the neighbor’s permits and visit the property to begin to resolve the issue.
Representatives from local nail salons addressed the board on possibly limiting the number of nail salons permitted in the community at one time, citing a need to support existing local businesses. David Lee of Lee Nails said similar ordinances are in place elsewhere.
Ward 1 Alderman Randy Belcher addressed the board with concerns over an existing “once in a lifetime” limit for adjusting a water bill made high by a leak or something needing to be fixed. The board agreed the limitation was stiff, and that they would look into this concern.
After an executive session concerning personnel, the board took no action to approve a request made to overturn a previous action.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the purchase of a 10-foot lawn mower trailer for the Water Department. The lower of two quotes, Southern Welding at $1,084, was chosen.
• Approved the purchase of an electronic operating valve for the Water Department in the amount of $14,000 from Control Systems. The valve is being purchased for the Ingram Street Tank and Control Systems and is already under contract for this job.
• Approved Chief Bobby Bell to attend the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police Conference June 16-19 in Biloxi, paying registration of $325 and expenses incurred.
• Approved a request for Shane Bridges to attend the Water Operator Training June 2-4 in Biloxi, paying registration of $175 and expenses incurred.
• Approved the resignation of JaNarrious D. Jenkins from the Cemetery Department effective April 17 and approved to hire James McNulty as a part-time employee.