‘Do something’: Residents call for final resolution of drainage problems

Published 4:38 pm Thursday, July 6, 2023

“It’s like an Olympic-sized swimming pool (draining) through a straw you get at the convenience store,” Randy Jones of Brookhaven said of the drainage problem on his Lipsey Street property.

Randy and Maxine Jones appeared before the Board of Aldermen Wednesday to insist the City address and correct the problem they say has become a retention pond for the City.

“This is the fifth administration I’ve come before, and I have talked with the Mayor about this,” Randy said. “This is the third or fourth time I’ve had to spend money to get into or out of my driveway. The water is so high we’ve had to miss work. My grandbaby has missed school.”

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The Joneses said they made a verbal agreement with Mayor Bill Godbold to grant an easement on their property for the City to access the water/sewer lift station. That agreement was never confirmed in writing by the City, Maxine said, and the agreement has since been manipulated to allow a locked gate to be put on the property. But the greater issue for the couple is the unaddressed retention of water that has drained onto their property.

“I’m going to dam it up, because it’s my property,” she said. “We were trying to help the City out, but in the end it became our problem. I’m not going to continue to allow that to happen.”

“We gave permission to go in and dig a trench, but now I’ve got to protect my property,” she said.

Board attorney Bobby Moak said he would get with the mayor and city engineer and look at the situation.

“We’ve been talking about it for two years,” Alderman-at-large Don Underwood said.

“The (Natchez Railway) railroad said they were going to put in a bigger drainage pipe, but that hasn’t been done,” Ward 6 Alderman Andre’ Spiller said.

“We need to fix the problem downstream and quit backing it up on these people’s property,” Underwood said.

“We just need to stop talking about it and do it,” added Spiller.

“If y’all are not willing to do it, that’s fine,” Underwood said to the other aldermen. “It sort of sums us up.”

“You say do something, but what do we do?” asked Ward 4 Alderman Jeff Henning.

“Talk to the railroad,” Public Services director Keith Lewis answered. “And we have.”

“Can’t the public service commissioner order them to change that culvert if it’s causing a problem?” Underwood asked Moak.

“Probably could,” the attorney replied.

“Let’s get a representative from the railroad at our next meeting and try to get to the bottom of this,” Mayor Joe Cox said.

“This problem has been going on since we bought the property 21 years ago. Something needs to be done, and we’re not going to wait any longer,” said Maxine Jones. “The City needs to do something or we’re going to do something.”


In other business, the Board:

  • Awarded the off-road diesel bid to R. B. Wall at $2.79
  • Approved payrolls
  • Approved a public hearing for lot cleaning on Aug. 1, 2023, at 6 p.m.
  • Approved to advertise in “Gridiron” magazine for $200
  • Approved Human Resources/Payroll Clerk Donna Campbell to attend the Mississippi Labor and Employment Seminar 2023 in Ocean Springs July 26-28. There is no cost for the conference. City will reimburse meals and mileage and pay for lodging.
  • Approved Brookhaven Police Sgt. Jonathan Buie to attend the Taser Instruction Certification Course at the Harrison County Law Enforcement Training Academy Aug. 10, 2023. The City will pay registration of $495 and reimburse for mileage, if applicable.
  • Approved Brookhaven Firefighter Heath Haas to attend a hazardous materials class at the State Fire Academy, July 10-20.
  • Approved a beer permit for A One Stop No. 11, 806 Hwy. 51 N, to sell beer not to be consumed on premises.
  • Approved to hire Emanuel Johnson as a laborer in the Street Department at $10.55 hourly, pending drug test and physical.
  • Approved to hire Shakur McGee as a laborer in the Street Department at $10.55 hourly, pending drug test and physical.
  • Approved the resignation of BPD Corp. Kyle Mossman, effective July 5.
  • Approved BPD patrolman Bradley McCoy to move from full-time to part-time effective June 25.
  • Awarded the North Jackson Street bridge project to Beacon Construction, with the low bid of $688,764.99.
  • Awarded the low bid for paving West Industrial Park Road to Triple A Construction at $55,426. Triple A also completed the work on the county’s portion of the same road. The next bid was from Dickerson and Bowen for $60,080. The Board also approved striping of the center and edge of the road, once paving is completed.