‘We matter, too’ — Resident asks City about street repairs

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023

A Brookhaven woman appeared before the Board of Aldermen Tuesday to express her concerns that streets were not being repaired well enough or quickly enough, in her opinion.

“Do you ever ride your city, Mr. Mayor?” South Second Street resident Shelia Williams asked Joe Cox during the regular Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday.

“Yes, ma’am, I do,” Cox replied.

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“I was told there was no money for my side of the tracks. Is that true?” she asked.

“Absolutely not,” Cox said.

“That’s what I was told,” Williams said. “It is like a total slum in some areas. Our side of the tracks is Brookhaven, too. If you have the funds, why aren’t you using them? We matter, too.”

Ward 3 Alderman Rev. Charles Caston Sr. assured Williams that streets needing repairs were being addressed.

“We have that street on our list,” said Caston. “The ‘when’, I can’t answer that, but that street is coming up.”

Williams said she was glad to hear it, and — stressing she meant no disrespect — spoke once again to the mayor — “Ride your city, Mr. Mayor.”

Cox said he would be happy to ride areas of the city the following morning with Williams accompanying him, if she would like to do so.

“Oh, yes, sir, I’d be glad to,” Williams said.


In other business:

  • Engineer Mike McKenzie of WGK Engineering told the board new leaching tanks had arrived at Greenbriar Digging Services, and the project at the Brookhaven Transfer Station would begin “in the next week or so.” In March, the Board declared an emergency status due to a damaged metal landfill tank that had begun to collapse after many years of usage. The city approved the low bid of $89,000 from Greenbriar to replace the tank as soon as possible, so that toxic leachate would not leak out into the ground and cause the Environmental Protection Agency to shut the landfill down.
  • Ward 4 Alderman Jeff Henning asked Public Works Director Keith Lewis what was needed in order to proceed with installation of speed humps on certain streets. Lewis said Henning would need to gather signatures from every resident on the street requesting the devices, then engineer Ryan Holmes of Dungan Engineering would take it from there.
  • The board approved to accept a $60,000 Homeland Security Grant to allow for the purchase of two lane-fixed license plate readers (LPRs). The grant is 100 percent reimbursable, with no match required from the city.
  • The board also approved the lower quote from TCS Ware Inc. for the purchase of the LPRs, including installation, in the amount of $59,990 and to revise the Police Department budget until reimbursement is received. The other quote was $64,854 from Insight/Brookhaven Electric.
  • Aldermen approved the amended Interlocal Agreement and Resolution between the City and Lincoln County for E911 dispatching, communication and other services.
  • The board approved anniversary increases of $1 per hour for Solid Waste Department Driver/Operator Tiara Kelly and Water Department laborer Joseph Benjamin; and the promotion of Firefighter First Class Fernando Dillon to Firefighter First Class with five years service.
  • The board approved to request a six-month extension from the EPA in order to get the Oak Hill dam fixed.

The board’s next regular meeting will be Tuesday, June 6, at 6:30 p.m.