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Brookhaven board of aldermen waiting on progress

“It’s just been a lot of waiting.”

That’s what WGK Engineers representative Mike McKenzie told the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen Tuesday during their regularly scheduled meeting.

The project McKenzie referenced was for a sidewalk that’s been in the works since the city applied for a grant in 2018. The sidewalk would run along North Railroad Avenue, connecting the Amtrak train station to the downtown area.

The project is estimated to cost $73,000, but the grant the city received from the Mississippi Department of Transportation would cover a majority of the cost.

Because of the outbreak of COVID-19, the board voted to wait to begin on the project.

“The timing’s not right,” Mayor Joe Cox said.

‘The pause button

has been pressed’

Ryan Holmes, consulting engineer at Dungan Engineering, spoke about a project at the Brookhaven Municipal Airport.

Before discussing the project, he informed the board that the airport will receive $30,000 from the CARES Act to assist with operational costs due to COVID-19.

“We’ll be moving forward,” Holmes said.

Holmes said the first phase, the taxiway extension, is substantially complete. Then they’ll be moving onto the next phase of the project, which will focus on hangars. After that, the runway will have some work done.

The majority of this project is being paid for with federal funding.

Holmes also gave an update to the fire station on North Second Street. This new fire station will serve as a replacement for the one on Willard Street.

“They’re wrapping it up,” Holmes said.

With the project’s punch list getting shorter and shorter, the estimated finish time is four weeks.

Garrick Combs, Director of the Chamber of Commerce, spoke about progress occurring at the Linbrook Business Park.

Bids will open June 1 to build a pad for a future building. The alliance over the park received two grants totaling $75,000, which will go toward offsetting the cost.

By constructing another building, the alliance can look for a new business to occupy it. Until bids open, no other progress is expected to be made.

“The pause button has been pressed,” Combs said.

In other business:

• An off-road diesel bid was awarded to R.B. Wall Oil Company.

• Weekly and salary payrolls for April were approved to cover general, water/sewer and solid waste employees.

• An ad valorem tax exemption application and resolution was approved from Rex Lumber Brookhaven LLC for a 10-year period on improvements made to the facility in 2019.

• The board approved a resolution urging Congress to support direct federal funding to all municipalities in Mississippi to help fight COVID-19.

• Permission was granted to Sgt. Willie B. Harrison to purchase his service weapon upon retirement on March 1, 2020, at a cost of $10 and remove from inventory.

• Signatory authority for accounts at Pike National Bank was given to Kayla Watts, Kristopher Xifos and David Fearn.

• The board acknowledged Gov. Reeves’ Safer at Home Executive Order 1477 that went in effect 8 a.m. April 27, through 8 a.m. May 11; and Executive Order 1478 that went into effect May 7 at 8 a.m. and expires May 11 at 8 a.m.

 

Story by Gracie Bryne