Timeline on City Hall move

Published 4:21 pm Friday, June 7, 2024

BROOKHAVEN — The City of Brookhaven’s plans to move out of the Lincoln County Courthouse developed over the past year. At least 12 articles ran in The Daily Leader covering the potential move, developments with the courthouse and what could happen if the City leaves.

Each date features a link to a story documenting the course of events over the past year. We are working to find older articles about plans for the City to move to new office space.

May 16, 2023

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City discusses possible new office locations.

In a special meeting of the Board of Aldermen Monday at 4:30 p.m. called by Mayor Joe Cox, the aldermen discussed the potential acquisition of property.

In an executive session that lasted more than one hour, the aldermen and mayor met with local businessman John Lynch and local contractor Paul Jackson concerning a property located at 101 West Chickasaw St., the former Harrigill Funeral Home. The board also approved the same for the property at 130 East Cherokee St., the former Kees Motor Company.


October 03, 2023

Outgoing Lincoln County Board of Supervisor Eddie Brown placed an item discussing how to plan ahead on the agenda during a regularly scheduled meeting Monday. He said the city was thinking about a potential move out of the Lincoln County Courthouse and wanted to explore what options they have if it happens. 

“The City wants to move out of the courthouse again. It has come up multiple times in the past,” Brown said. “We are all changing hands with new supervisors this year. It has been brought up several times by the mayor. They want to move but as far as I know, they don’t have the votes. The deal is when they notify us we have four years to pay them for their part of the building.”

Lincoln County Board Attorney Greg Malta said there is nothing the board can do to prevent the city from leaving according to an interlocal contract signed in 1980. Lincoln County would have to buy out the rest of the building if the city leaves with two options for payment. 


February 9, 2024

City discusses another option for new government offices.

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.


April 1, 2024

The City of Brookhaven moved a step closer to moving out of the Lincoln County Courthouse. Lincoln County Board Attorney Greg Malta said the county will have to buy out the City’s ownership Monday. 

A 1980 interlocal agreement stipulates the County would have to reimburse the City 20 percent of the building’s value, the City’s ownership, if the city government moved out of the courthouse. It is the lesser of two payment options the County had. 

Malta gave an update to the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors Monday morning in executive session. He explained what was happening with the appraisal process following the meeting. 


April 15, 2024

Lincoln County Board of Supervisors Attorney Greg Malta said the three appraisals for the Lincoln County Courthouse have come in. The City of Brookhaven and Lincoln County will progress in discussions for the County to buyout the City’s ownership of the courthouse. 

A 1980 interlocal agreement stipulates the County would have to reimburse the City 20 percent of the building’s value, the City’s ownership, if the city government moves out of the courthouse. It is the lesser of two payment options the County had. 

Malta gave an update to the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors in executive session at the first April board meeting. He explained to the board that the City and County each get an appraisal on the building and then get a third appraisal from an appraiser appointed by both the City and County. The two parties will meet, numbers will then become public and the average of the three appraisals will be taken. 


May 6, 2024

Lincoln County Attorney Greg Malta said appraisals for Lincoln County and the City of Brookhaven came in. They are now actively negotiating the buyout. At this time, Lincoln County did not feel the need to obtain a third appraisal from an independent third party appraiser. 

Brookhaven’s appraisal determined the courthouse was worth $16,240,000 while Lincoln County’s appraisal was for $11,000,000. Malta said there is an important caveat in the figures. 

“The City appraisal doesn’t account for depreciation of the structure. If we took out the depreciation, the numbers would be the same,” Malta said. “From a legal standpoint, the question is does it allow for depreciation to be accounted for. We think it does. We are trying to negotiate.” 

Lincoln County’s Board of Supervisors motioned to offer $2.7 million to purchase the 20 percent ownership by the city which would be paid on December 5th, 2027.


May 9, 2024

Lincoln County Administrator Daniel Calcote said when the City leaves it could have one minor impact on the finances with the courthouse. Right now, the City of Brookhaven pays 20 percent of the utility bill since they have 20 percent ownership in the building. Once the city leaves, the 20 percent would be picked up by the County more than likely. 

“It would just be 20 percent so it won’t be much and shouldn’t be an issue,” Calcote said. 

In the past, Calcote has worked to squirrel away surplus money for the County to use when they need it. Falvey praised him for putting money aside for the Courthouse HVAC project. 


May 23, 2024

Brookhaven’s board voted 4-2 to “proceed with entering into contract negotiations and letter of intent with 101 Chickasaw LLC to lease and renovate the existing building located at 101 W. Chickasaw St., Brookhaven … It is the intent of the City to renovate the building for the purpose and usage as City Hall.”

Aldermen James Magee Jr., Shannon Moore, Rev. Charles Caston Sr. and Fletcher Grice voted in support of the motion; aldermen Andre’ Spiller and Don Underwood voted against. Ward 4 Alderman Jeff Henning excused himself from the vote to avoid possible conflict of interest.

Spiller said he voted against the motion because the Board had not to-date been able to negotiate with the Kees family, the owners of the Kees Automotive Building at the corner of South First and East Cherokee streets — which the Board had previously discussed as an option for the relocation of the City’s offices.


June 3, 2024

Andre Spiller mentioned Eddie Brown’s discussion in October before asking about the move. 


June 5, 2024

Mayor, Alderman discuss City Hall move.


June 6, 2024

Kees react to City Hall decision.


June 6, 2024

Renderings show vision for City Hall.