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Brookhaven is and has been proactive

Editor’s note: Brookhaven mayor Joe Cox made these comments following the city’s approval of a $13.4 million budget Thursday night.

Our duty as elected officials is to all the taxpayers of Brookhaven to provide essential city services … water, sewer, streets and police and fire protection in the most cost-effective manner possible … and to prepare for the future with the funds available.

Budgeting is the once-a-year process of evaluating the needs of the municipality and its resources. The budget process is the time when priorities are established and hard decisions of what will and will not be done are made.

Our water/sewer annexation project is going extremely well and Greenbriar Digging Service is doing an excellent job. Obviously, we’ve had typical construction inconveniences, with muddy streets, equipment briefly blocking driveways, disrupted cable service, disturbed yards, etc., but as of today, approximately six months into a 540-day contract, 23,500 feet — 4.5 miles — of sewer line has been installed and 103 homes connected; 43,350 feet — 8.2 miles — of water line has been installed with 166 meters set and 75 houses actually connected. We have also installed 24 new fire hydrants.

Year to date:

• The Brookhaven Fire Department has made 145 runs inside the city and nine outside the city.

• The Brookhaven Police Department has logged in 8,615 calls involving anything from automobile accidents to vandalism and issued 1,462 citations.

• The water/sewer department has sold 3,410,840 gallons of water, worked approximately 6,500 jobs and work orders and maintained a 40-acre lagoon and grounds. The department recently received an overall capacity rating of 5.0 out of 5.0 from the Mississippi Department of Health.

• The street department/solid waste department has completed over 1,446 work orders plus other duties.

• In working with Entergy and their Energy Efficient LED lighting program, we have installed 88 additional lights throughout the city, while continuing to decrease energy costs to the city.

I could go further with new projects on the drawing board and those about to come to fruition. As you can see, the city is and has been pro-active in serving and protecting the citizens. It is our fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of the City of Brookhaven to present a balanced budget.

Thanks to the city clerk for her hard work and diligence in putting together this budget.

Joe Cox

Mayor of Brookhaven