City discusses another option for new government offices

Published 9:00 am Friday, February 9, 2024

The City of Brookhaven has discussed for several years the potential of moving its offices out of the Lincoln County Government Complex.

The City currently leases its portion of the building from the County.

In May 2023, aldermen discussed the potential acquisition of other property, and voted to have fair market appraisals conducted on two local properties — the former Harrigill Funeral Home at 101 West Chickasaw St., owned by John Lynch, and the former Kees Motor Company at 130 East Cherokee St., owned by the Gerald Kees family. Environmental studies would need to be conducted on either property before the board would make a decision on a potential purchase.

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In later months, the board engaged in discussions of costs and other matters on the Harrigill property. At the City’s most recent board meeting, Alderman-at-large Don Underwood suggested the same discussions be entered into with the Kees family.

Jane Kees Clary, daughter of Gerald Kees, fielded a few questions from aldermen about how much area of the property was recently demolished, due to structural problems, and what was available for possible purchase. Available property could include more than 62,000 square feet, with an asking price near $750,000.

“We should take the next logical step like we did with the funeral home, as a possible new location,” Underwood said.

“We still need to see where we stand with the County,” Mayor Joe Cox said, noting two appraisals on the City offices were being conducted.

Underwood moved to engage the Kees family in a discussion of the cost, as well as what portion of the property would be desired.

“Having offices downtown, a little further out, would help with economic development, and the City could design whatever they need,” the alderman said.

The board agreed to move ahead with discussions.