Brookhaven addresses questions of a downtown bridge and an AG opinion

Published 8:00 am Thursday, June 22, 2023

Brookhaven citizen Roy Smith appeared before the Board of Aldermen again Tuesday, saying he knew he was an irritant to some of them.

He brought up his previous requests for the City to consider building an overpass in downtown Brookhaven for emergency use when freight trains are passing through.

“(Engineer) Mr. Mike McKenzie explained to me there was $585 million available for bridges and roads in Mississippi. Have we started the process to apply? If not, when?” Smith asked.

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“It’s more than just the money. You’d have to take out about half of downtown to put a bridge like the one on Industrial Park Road,” Ward 2 Alderman Shannon Moore replied.

“It could be done a different way,” Smith said, and asked the board to discuss it and make decisions. “There is a dire need for emergency care and police protection if a freight train is coming through.”

Smith asked Board Attorney Bobby Moak if a letter had been sent to the Office of the Attorney General regarding whether the City could revert from an appointed chief of police to one elected by the citizens.

“Yes, sir,” Moak replied. “It was sent in a timely manner following the last meeting.”

“I would have liked to see it first, or my alderman to have seen it,” Smith said. “If a word needed to be changed or something. You know, language a lot of times makes a difference.”

Moak explained that the wording was very basic — this is what happened; can this now be done?

“We’ll give you a copy,” he said. “I don’t go through an editing process (like that). I’m the board’s attorney. To share it with someone else would not be proper.”

“I understand,” Smith said, adding he was looking forward to the AG’s reply. “It’s for the betterment of our community and the entirety of Brookhaven.”


Other business

Joshua Davis, project engineer at Dungan Engineering, said all work for the North Jackson Street Bridge is awaiting updates on pricing negotiations. Regarding standing water on Eola Road, a contractor has looked at it and is working on a solution.

Public Works Director Keith Lewis asked the board to approve the low bid of $73,806 from Greenbriar Digging Services to replace a 60-inch culvert on Washington Street. The bottom of the existing culvert has rotted out. It needs to be replaced, some trees cut and riff-raff rock placed. The other bid was from Hope Enterprises at $106,290.28. The board approved going ahead with the lower bid.

Well 5 has been running sand in the water, said Water Department Superintendent Kris Xifos. He requested bids to run a camera down the well to determine the problem. The pump would also need to be pulled and a temporary pump placed in the well for the process. Greenbriar submitted a bid of $14,500; Thomas Brothers Drilling submitted a bid for $12,000. The board approved the lower bid.

The board set a public hearing for Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. to add lots to the list for grass cutting. These properties are not maintained by their owners, and — if added to the approved list — will be cut by the City over a period of two years maximum, charging the owner of the property $250 per cutting.

Mayor Cox will obtain a new American flag to replace the worn out one at the entrance to Linbrook Industrial Park. The flags typically last about three months before needing to be replaced, Cox said.