City of Brookhaven accepts $2.7M buyout from Lincoln County

Published 3:15 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2024

The City of Brookhaven’s Board of Aldermen recently voted to relocate City Hall from its current location at the Lincoln County/Brookhaven Government Complex.

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors on June 17 unanimously approved to offer the City a buyout of $2,745,000 under the terms of the original 1980 Interlocal Agreement that addressed the possibility of either the City or County leaving the facility.

Board of Aldermen Attorney Bobby Moak told the members present Tuesday that — according to the Attorney General’s Office — the Board must vote to accept the offer, then present it to the AG’s Office for approval. The AG will not review the offer to make sure it meets all requirements until after the City decides if it will accept the offer.

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The Board voted 4-1 to accept the County’s offer. Ward 6 Alderman Andre’ Spiller voted against; Ward 4 Alderman Jeff Henning recused himself from the vote to avoid possible conflict of interest; and Alderman-at-large Don Underwood was not present at the meeting.

Moak said the AG’s Office will next be notified of the City’s decision. If the AG’s Office approves the process, nothing else will need to be done. If needed, the AG will call for a redraft of the Interlocal Agreement or for other changes to be made.

The City has been in discussion to make a move from its existing offices to a new location for approximately two years, with Mayor Joe Cox citing a need for more space as one of the primary reasons behind the decision.

On May 21, the 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. Henning excused himself from the vote.