Brignall Park may be open by October

Published 9:43 pm Thursday, August 23, 2018

Ward 1 Alderman Dorsey Cameron is ready to barbecue at Brignall Park. But first, it has to be built.

The Brookhaven Board of Aldermen Tuesday night accepted the lowest of three bids for Phase 1 of the park project, which may take four to five weeks to complete.

Cameron smiled when he heard the timeline.

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“That sounds like good news,” he said.

Southern State Construction of Brandon was awarded the contract based on their bid of $96,500. That’s $21,500 more than the board expected when they finalized plans for the park, which will be built from a littered, overgrown lot at the corner of Broad and Ellis roads.

Dorsey, who first pushed for this park to become reality more than five years ago, said they’d hoped the bids would have come in lower. The board voted to amend the budget to show the higher cost for Phase 1.

The property is large enough to build two small houses with yards, which was Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln County’s plan when it purchased the lot from the city for the cost of back taxes. However, Habitat donated the land back to the city in November to create a suitable green space for families to picnic and kids to play.

The lot has been vacant for about 20 years and was overgrown and littered with cans and broken glass. The city cleaned it up and contractors took down some trees.

Phase 1 of the project will be ground work to clear the lot, construction of a basketball court, a fence and a pavilion built on the slab that was already there, Cameron said.

The Brookhaven Recreation Department is donating barbecue grills for the park.

For Phase 2, contractors will put in bathrooms and install lighting.

“We won’t be able to do it all at once,” he said.

In other business Tuesday, aldermen:

• Accepted the resignation of Danny Lincoln Tucker from the Brookhaven Fire Department;

• Approved the hire of Lonnie Byther in the street department at $10.18 an hour;

• Approved the hire of Thomas Allen as a non-certified police officer at $27,534.12 annually;

• Approved the transfer of Thomas Barlow from full-time to part-time police officer with no change in salary. Police Chief Kenneth Collins said Barlow is the school resource officer for the Brookhaven School District, but will still work summer months for the police department. He’ll also be available to help during emergencies and festivals.

• Received the July run report for the Brookhaven Fire Department that shows 21 runs in the city limits and two outside the city limits.

• Approved Mayor Joe Cox’s recommendation to re-appoint Robert Tyler to the Brookhaven Housing Authority board.

• Voted to terminate Willie Sinclair from the street department following a brief closed-door executive session. Sinclair was still in his probation period, said supervisor Burt Wilson.