2009 May 19 Archive: Spring 2009

Archive: Spring 2009

Archive: Spring 2009

Unemployment rate increases in 74 counties, decreases in 19
April 24, 2009

Tennessee’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2009 was released in late April at 9.6 percent, a 0.6 percentage point higher than the revised February rate of 9.0 percent. The United States’ unemployment rate for the month of March was 8.5 percent.

In Haywood County the rate ticked up only slightly to 13.8 percent, up from February’s 13.3%. Other area unemployment rates include: Madison County – 9.7 percent, Fayette County at 10.5 percent, Hardeman County reporting 11.4 percent, Tipton County – 12.3 percent, Crockett at 13.1 percent and Lauderdale County at 18.2 percent.


Two city streets to get new surface
April 14, 2009

City officials say it will cost $277,425 to repave two city streets. Work is expected to begin on Hatchie Street and on Anderson Avenue in “four to six weeks.” The city board approved the expenditure during a meeting Tuesday. Anderson will be resurfaced from East Main Street to the bypass.

Funds provided by state government will cover most of the cost. City government’s share is $70,000.

Mayor Webb Banks said additional paving work may be done on other streets, but presently there are no firm plans.

State comments on recreation here

Mayor Webb Banks and aldermen heard a presentation made by Gerald Parish who works for the State Parks and Recreation Technical Advisory Service.

Parrish, the former director of Brownsville/Haywood County Parks and Recreation, presented the state’s recreation assessment at this week’s city board meeting. Aldermen took no action, but said they will review the lengthy document.

Recommendations include stricter employee hiring standards and the removal of unsafe playground equipment. Parrish says governments must also work to bring playgrounds into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Interviews conducted for the report with residence here indicate there should be more in-door recreational opportunities. Parrish said that preparing for the new jobs and residents the Megasite might bring should have leaders thinking about the enticement good recreational opportunities provide.

Zoning Ordinance change effects commercial zones

Acting on a recommendation from the city planning board, Brownsville’s Aldermen approved changes to commercial ordinances that describe “lot lines.” The changes allow “zero” lot lines in certain circumstances for multiple story commercial buildings.

The ordinance applies, according to Mayor Webb Banks, to so-called strip malls.

County Commission approves new bond application

Haywood County Commissioners weren’t scheduled to meet in April, but a specially called meeting Monday afternoon brought most of the commissioners together to correct a problem with a previously approved bond application.

County Mayor Franklin Smith also updated commissioners on progress being made with the criminal justice complex and the Megasite.

Commissioners had already given the nod to issuance of $300,000 worth of bonds that will help pay for a new maintenance shop and garbage truck for the county’s solid waste operation. The bonds will couple with a $50,000 grant and $20,000 in capital from county taxpayers to cover the cost.

Mayor Smith explained that the new approval was needed because the original application did not include all of the legal specifications for the bond issuance.

FEMA and TEMA contribute to criminal justice complex

Designers of the new jail and justice building have included a so-called “safe space” in the new building, and planners say they’ve now won state and federal grants to help cover the cost.

The safe space, built like a “bunker” to withstand events like tornados, includes “two halls and central dispatch.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay $427,157 of the cost and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency will contribute $71,193.

County Mayor Franklin Smith says progress is being made gaining ownership of the property where the justice complex is being built. The owners, Newton, Oldacre and McDonald, have hired a firm, Smith says, that may be able to resolve their financing issues that have so far stopped county government from closing the $1.8 million transaction.

Mayor says Megasite funds may total nearly $50 million

A project started under the leadership of County Mayor John Sharpe and former Chamber of Commerce Director Sandra Silverstein in 2004, has now gotten the full attention of state government.

Mayor Franklin Smith credited Sharpe and Silverstein with getting the Megasite idea underway. Mayor Smith has nurtured the project since his election as mayor. His work has included negotiating land options for the super industrial park. The tracts are located near Exit 42 and include at least 1700 acres.

Governor Phil Bredesen, Smith says, has included $20 million in his budget to buy the land and another $27 million to develop the park. The governor’s budget must be approved by the legislature.


Railroad lifts moratorium on new customers
April 6, 2009

For months Haywood County’s industrial recruiting efforts have been at a virtual standstill because the CSX railroad says it will accept no more customers here.

That’s all changed, according to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joe Ing.

Ing said during a meeting on April 3, railroad officials and local governments reached agreement that allows the chamber and other officials to “go back to recruiting efforts.”

The problem, according to the railroad, has been the lack of switching capacity in Brownsville. The lack of infrastructure meant the railroad couldn’t provide service to additional customers.

Ing says all of the details haven’t been decided, but the railroad plans on building a new switchyard in the new industrial park located on the bypass at Windrow Road.

Exactly who pays for the switchyard, Ing says, is unclear. Ing said the railroad is “willing to do part,” but local government will be searching for grant funds to help.


Haywood unemployment drops slightly

Haywood County’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in February to 13.4 from 13.5 percent in January. The state’s rate rose to 9.1 percent, and the national rate followed suit going to 8.1 percent, up from 7.6 percent in January.

In neighboring counties, two experienced rate decreases, one stayed the same, and four had increases in unemployment rates. Crockett County’s rate is 13.3 percent, Fayette County -10.1, Hardeman County – 10.7 percent, Lauderdale – 17.9 percent, Madison County – 9 percent, Shelby County – 8.6 percent, and Tipton County’s unemployment rate is 12.2 percent.


Castellaw to lead WTIA


Regie Castellaw

Regie Castellaw, manager of the City of Brownsville Utility Department, is the new president of the West Tennessee Industrial Association. John Etheridge, manager of the Paris Board of Public Utilities, is the association’s vice-president, and Bret Fisher, general manager of the Trenton Light & Water Department, is the new secretary/treasurer. The Association is in its 53rd year of providing industrial and economic development assistance to the 21-county region in West Tennessee.

Mr. Castellaw and the officers will lead the association’s efforts to attract and retain jobs in the region.


Leadership class has “vision”


Members of the Leadership Haywood County Class attended “Vision Day” on March 19. Members are (back row, from left) Rev. Mark Conway, John Ashworth, Scott Stoots and Ben Thornton; (front row, from left) Greg Douglass, Vicky Fawcett, Alice Taylor, Ivie Wheeler, Lisa Paris, Della Ligon, Marie Watkins and Gem Bell. Not pictured are Lisa Carlton and Elliott Simmons.

As the 2008-2009 Leadership Haywood County class nears the end of its sessions, they gathered at a relaxing rural setting March 19 to discuss their vision for the community. Frankie McCord, Regional Economic Development Specialist with the State Economic and Community Development Department, conducted the meeting. Members learned about the state’s 3-Star Award, which Brownsville-Haywood County holds, and McCord led them through the process of identifying what they think the community’s highest priorities in areas of improvement should be.

Next week the group’s final session will be a visit to Nashville to learn about state government before their graduation ceremony on April 16.

Facilitating the Vision Day session were Leadership Board members Rev. Harrell Nation, Rita Hathcock and Chairman Jo Matherne.


Seymour to lead the Tomcats


Superintendent of Schools Marlon King announced at the school board meeting Tuesday night that former HHS Tomcat player Tim Seymour was selected to lead the football team at Haywood High. Superintendent King (right) and HHS Principal Robert Mitchell (left) congratulated him on his new position.

When the Haywood County School Board met on Tuesday night, members had a full agenda, but had to wait until the last minute to hear the big news of the night. Superintendent Marlon King announced that Tim Seymour was selected to lead the HHS Tomcat football team. Seymour, who was a Tomcat and played college ball at the University of Memphis, is currently the physical education teacher at Sunny Hill School and served as assistant football coach to Bart Stowe who left his position at HHS to coach in Dyersburg. Seymour was selected by a panel of five from among 11 applicants for the position.

In other business, school board members discussed the Catherine Truss Colhoun Scholarship Fund, learned about the Spring Mini-Grants, approved two ROTC trips and heard a presentation by Principal Robert Mitchell about Haywood High.

Jack Moses, investor with CAC Financials, spoke to the board about the options for investing the Catherine Truss Colhoun Scholarship Fund. After listening to the report, board members voted to let CFO Vincent Harvell make a recommendation for handling the funds.

Summer school dates in Haywood County Schools were set for May 26 through June 19, and Board Chairman Harold Garrett read to the board and audience for approval the selection of teachers who will receive Spring Mini-Grants. More information will be available on these grants next week.

Board members also approved two out-of-town trips for HHS AFJROTC cadets, one to a drill competition in Oxford, Mississippi, and one to take four students to a leadership school in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Before HHS Principal Mitchell presented an overview of academics, athletics and other programs at HHS, he presented to the board the curriculum for approval for the 2009-2010 school year.

Director’s Report
In his Director’s Report, Superintendent King gave board members a report on the activities of his Advisory Committee. Among other things, the committee will hold Easter Egg Hunts at the elementary schools and a scavenger hunt at Sunny Hill in April.

He also reported on his reorganization plan for the Justice Academy, the Alternative School and the Adult Basic Education program. Mary Hood will lead this department, serving as principal/director and will report directly to the superintendent.

Superintendent King also thanked City Mayor Webb Banks and County Mayor Franklin Smith for help with clearing school parking lots and county roads after the snow last week.

The next board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on April 14.


City board still contemplating 2009/2010 budget
March 11, 2009

Mayor Webb Banks and City Clerk Jerry Taylor remain on edge about next year’s city budget. Banks told aldermen this week that he still wants a budget committee to review cuts necessary to avoid a tax increase and keep spending in balance with income.

Taylor says he anticipates reduced funding from state government to be “19 to 25 percent” from previous levels.

The mayor has said up to $500,000 must be reduced from the city’s budget, and he expects that means cutting services. So far Banks hasn’t hinted at what might be cut.

At last month’s meeting Banks appointed a budget committee to include Aldermen Joe Taylor and Carolyn Flagg to join Jerry Taylor in reviewing next year’s plan. The mayor said the trio hasn’t met but expects they will between now and the April meeting of the board. The city’s fiscal year ends in June.

Professional collectors hired

Last year Haywood County government decided to hire a professional collection agent to try and collect a backlog of nearly $5 million due general sessions court. This week the Brownsville City Board hired the same firm to try and collect past due accounts due Brownsville’s City Court.

City Clerk Jerry Taylor said there is about $275,000 on the court’s books, but he said not all of it would be turned over to the collection agency. He said he wasn’t sure how much the firm would be asked to collect. The collection agency has agreed to add their fee, $50, to each account.

Home renovation grant request

City leaders believe there is a high probability they’ll win a $500,000 grant. The funds would be used to rehabilitate homes owned by low-income residents. Mayor Webb Banks says he believes there is enough money in the grant that, “We might be able to do 17 to 20 homes.”

Homeowners are not required to pay the money back as long as they live in the house for at least five years after completion of the work.

City board approves zoning ordinance changes

What is being described as mostly “technical changes” in the zoning ordinance got the nod from city fathers when they met Tuesday afternoon. Under one change, regulations regarding definitions of a subdivision and procedural matters were changed.

In a separate change the board broadened rules regarding “zero” lot lines for multiple story buildings. The new rules include “all commercial zones designed for multiple stories.”

Megasite may lead to mega-education bonanza

Mayor Webb Banks said this week that the Southwest Tennessee Economic Development Authority is working on an initiative that could lead to funding higher education for every high school graduate in the area.

The funds could be used for up to two years of college or technical school tuition. Banks and STEDA’s Duane Lavery believe the program would provide a substantial incentive to local employers and especially to megasite prospects. Large employers look for a trained workforce, Banks explained.

He didn’t say exactly where the money would come from but it would, mostly, be obtained from state and federal sources.


Haywood County unemployment rate increases in January

It’s no surprise that the unemployment rate is up in Tennessee across the board – all 95 counties saw rate increases. The state rate went from 7.6 percent in December to 8.6 percent in January. In Haywood County, the rate increased from 11.7 percent in December to 13.5 percent in January. The national rate is also up .4 percent from 7.2 to 7.6 percent in January.

In neighboring counties, Crockett County’s rate jumped to 13.7 percent, up from 10.6 in December. Fayette County increased to 10.2 percent from 8.6 percent; Lauderdale County has the second worst unemployment rate at 18.6, up from 15.7 in December. Tipton County came in at 11.5 percent, up from 9.6 percent in December.

The worst unemployment rate in the state is Perry County at 27.3 percent.


Stanton Planning Commission meets
February 19, 2009
By Debbie Sterbinsky


Stanton Planning Commission members met in regular session on February 19. Pictured are members (from left) Royce Barnett, Linda Jones, Frank Fawcett, Chairperson Laura Smith, Mayor Allan Sterbinsky, and state planner Shelton Merrill and an A2H representative.

The Stanton Planning Commission voted against adopting the current proposed plan by A2H when they met on February 19. Options include enlarging the footprint of Stanton to more effectively house the proposed number of residents expected in the future and examine potential locations not included in previous plans. The town has asked A2H to provide a conceptual drawing of an option that extends southeast towards Exit 47 on I 40. Stanton already provides utilities to Exit 47 and beyond.

After the conceptual drawing is received, the Commission will then re-examine all plans, make adjustments where they deem appropriate and adopt a plan that is strategically viable for Stanton. Adopting a plan is essential for Stanton’s future because the county’s proposed Megasite will cause growth quickly in the next few years, or the suburbs of Memphis will continue to move closer to Stanton in the long term.

In other business, Hunt Gallina and Sam Mathes (owners of dangerous downtown properties) were present at the meeting. The Commission provided them with deadlines for cleaning up their properties. Another downtown property owner, Earl Rice, attended his first meeting and presented plans to bring his buildings up to code. The plans will be examined by the town’s inspector Jerry McClinton.

The Stanton Planning Commission voted to change their meeting date to the third Thursday of the month due to board member conflicts with their previous meeting date of the first Tuesday of each month.


Budget cuts will avoid tax increase, mayor says
February 11, 2009

Finding a half-million dollars in budget cuts has been tasked to two members of the city board and the city clerk. Mayor Webb Banks asked the trio to start looking into ways to cut the city’s spending for the fiscal year starting in July.

Banks’ mandate comes in the wake of the country’s economic downturn and, the mayor says, he believes revenues delivered to Brownsville by the state will be cut at least $250,000 in the next fiscal year. Coupled with a planned $200,000 pay raise for city employees, Banks wants the budget cuts to total $500,000.

“If I knew where there was wasteful spending, I’d already have cut it out,” Banks told aldermen Monday afternoon. The mayor believes some “services” will have to be cut to accomplish the goal but he says he wants to do it where there will be “the least amount of impact.”

Vice-Mayor Joe Taylor and Alderman Carolyn Flagg will join City Clerk Jerry Taylor in reviewing the budget and recommending cuts.

The mayor said last night the city’s reserve funds had been as high as $4million but, he says, the savings account has dwindled to about $500,000.

Extending downtown parking rules fails
February 11, 2009

The city board voted not to extend the two-hour downtown parking rules to parking spaces bordering Insouth Bank, located just south of the square.

A city ordinance makes it illegal to park for more than two hours on the square and one block off the square.

The request to extend the parking regulations further south was on the mayor’s agenda during Monday’s city board meeting. Aldermen said extending the parking rules would add enforcement expense and “open up” discussion about extending the rules to other areas off the square.


Local unemployment rate changes very little
February 3, 2009

Employment news reported around the country has been mostly terrible, but Haywood County’s rate in December has changed little in the past few months. The latest numbers just released report that Haywood County’s unemployment rate ticked up only slightly in December to 10.9 percent. That’s up .9 percent from November.

All counties in Tennessee showed an increased unemployment rate. Rates in Haywood County’s surrounding counties are: Fayette County – 8.9 percent, Hardeman – 9 percent, Tipton – 9.7 percent, Crockett – 10.8 percent, and Lauderdale is now 15.3 percent, up from 13.9 a month earlier. Lauderdale County has the second highest unemployment rate in Tennessee. Madison County’s December rate is 7.5 percent, up from, 6.8 percent, and Shelby County’s rate is also 7.5, up from 6.9 percent in November.

The state’s rate for December is 7.9 percent, up from 7 percent in November, and the national rate is 7.2 percent, up from 6.8 percent in November.


County prepares to sue landowners
January 20, 2009

Haywood County Commissioners vowed Tuesday night at their meeting to sue the owners of the old Wal-Mart property if they don’t make good right away on their promise to sell the land and building to county government.

County leaders thought they had a deal to buy the huge, empty building and about 7 acres from Newton Oldacre and Associates but so far they’ve not been able to close the $1.8 million transaction. The property will be converted to a criminal justice complex. Based on discussion at this week’s county commission meeting about a million dollars has already been spent on the $15 million plan.

Commissioners voted unanimously to enact their power of imminent domain if the deal isn’t consummated right away.

The hold-up has already cost taxpayers money, according to County Mayor Franklin Smith.

Smith led the negotiations that started in August of 2008. The delay, according to the mayor, is that the owners “haven’t wanted to talk to their lender.” Apparently the seller’s security agreements mean actually delivering the deed via an arrangement that places the deed and taxpayer’s $1.8 million in escrow until deal consummation in 2010 is central to the delay. The complicated sale arrangement has been caused in part because of a lease Wal-Mart still holds on the property.

County attorney Michael Banks and other lawyers have been working on the deal for months. Banks says he doesn’t know “what the time frame would be” to work through the lawsuit. He also says there is little doubt the county can win, but the price set by the court could be “more or less” than the current agreed upon amount of $1.8 million.

Newton Oldacre and Associates “have been assured” the county won’t act on its promise to sue if immediate action is taken to close the deal. Meanwhile at least three contractors say they will increase their construction bids because they weren’t able to start on time, and Smith says, he has ordered an appraisal of the property in the event the case is forced into court.

Though no one set a deadline during the meeting, the discussion seemed to center around February 1. The mayor said if construction hasn’t started by February 13 the whole project will have to be re-bid.

County standing committees

Also when the county commission met on Tuesday, Mayor Franklin Smith made no changes in county government’s standing committees, including budget, public safety, jail and solid waste.

The county’s most active and powerful budget committee includes Commissioners Allen King, Becky Booth, Jerry Smith, Ronald woods, Robert Green and Leonard Jones Jr.

New school superintendent speaks to commission

New Director of Schools Marlon King received a rousing applause from county commissioners and those attending this week’s county commission meeting after a short introductory address.

The local educational system “will not affect” industrial recruiting, King said. King pledged to make the system a place where parents will want to send their children.

King says he puts the children’s safety first, followed by professional development of staff, the recruitment of parents who have chosen to send their kids to private schools or home school and the attraction of jobs as a result of a model school system.

And, there will be a special called meeting of the Haywood County School Board on Tuesday, January 27, at 1 p.m. On the agenda, according to Superintendent Marlon King, are accountability and his organizational flow chart.

New court fees to help public defender’s office

Accused of a misdemeanor or felony? If you go to court and are required to pay court costs expect those fees to be raised by $12.50. County commissioners agreed Tuesday to hike the fees in accordance with a Tennessee law designed to help fund the public defenders office.

Public defender Tom Crider asked the commission to approve the measure because of state budget cuts. Crider’s office provides defense services to those who can’t pay.

Commissioners to seek funds for new water tower

A new water tank would be erected somewhere in northern Haywood County if a grant request is approved. County commissioners approved the $500,000 Community Development Block grant request this week. The grant will pay for most of the cost of construction.

Solid waste billing changed

The county’s solid waste department has been assessing a $3 late penalty on monthly fees for rural property owners if their bills aren’t paid by the 20th of the month.

New policy to become effective February 1 will provide more time to pay the bill — moving the effective date of the late fee to the first of the next month.


City bans bars and taverns
January 13, 2009

A measure prohibiting “bars and taverns” in Brownsville’s general commercial districts passed the city board Monday night. During their regular monthly session on January 13, aldermen unanimously agreed to the change in the zoning ordinance suggested last month by city planners. No one commented during the pubic hearing.

The new rules clarify language that could have allowed bars and taverns in areas zoned general commercial.

Utility rates to be lowered

City fathers learned this week that natural gas rates would be lowered February 1. The news comes just after the delivery of bruising utility bills. The Brownsville Energy Authority is lowering the rate by 9 percent.

The rate reduction comes on the heals of lower rates for electricity that took effect on January 1.

Economic coalition sets goals

Goals set by the Southwest Tennessee Economic Development Authority (STEDA) focus on development of Haywood County’s megasite.

Mayor Webb Banks at the meeting Tuesday night presented STEDA’s five-page outline of its planned work that includes, among other things, implementation of “measures to acquire megasite property.”

The land options for the megastite expire November 30. In the notes, STEDA recognizes that “options are not likely to happen again.” Tennessee’s government just provided funding for the options that cost nearly $1.8 million.

Developing infrastructure, marketing and preparing the area’s workforce is also on STEDA’s agenda.

The Southwest Tennessee Economic Development Authority is a coalition of utilities and governments in Haywood, Tipton and Lauderdale Counties.


304th MP Battalion transfers authority to 168th MP Battalion


Lt. Col. Brad Bishop and Command Sgt. Maj. Jay Smith, 168th Military Police Battalion, uncase their battalion colors during a transfer of authority ceremony December 23 at the Camp Bucca stage on the Iraq and Kuwaiti border. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Lawrence A. Robinson)

Lt. Col. Carol Haas, 304th Military Police Battalion Commander, transferred authority to Lt. Col. Brad Bishop, 168th MP Battalion Commander, during a ceremony December 23 at Camp Bucca, Iraq. Lt. Col. Bishop is from Brownsville.

This ceremony marks the 168th MP Battalion’s second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Dyersburg, Tennessee, based unit was originally organized and federally recognized on Apr. 23, 1932, as Company I,117th Infantry, and went on to serve in World War II. The unit was converted and re-designated on Feb. 1, 1968, as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 168th Military Police Battalion. In 2003, the unit deployed to Iraq and recognized with the Meritorious Unit Citation (MUC) and Iraq Campaign Streamer.

“The 168th Military Police Battalion has conducted an aggressive training plan left of the line, and I am fully confident my soldiers are ready to assume this mission and maintain the high standards set by Joint Task Force 134 and the 42nd MP Brigade. I would also like to thank Lt. Col. Haas and the Soldiers of the 304th MP Battalion for an extremely beneficial left seat/right seat battle handover,” said Bishop.

Brig. Gen. David Quantock, Joint Task Force 134 Commander, Detainee Operations, presided over the ceremony and witnessed Bishop and Command Sgt. Maj. Jay Smith uncase the 168th MP Battalion colors.

The 304th MP Bn. will return to Nashville, Tennessee, sometime in January.

Camp Bucca is a forward operating base along the Kuwaiti border near the port city of Umm Qasr, Iraq’s southernmost city.


Haywood County unemployment down

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Employment Security Division released the November unemployment figures this week, and Haywood County’s rate is down from the October rate of 11.2 percent to 10.2 percent. In Tennessee, 62 counties saw an increase in rates, and 20 counties’ rates decreased. Thirteen counties’ unemployment rates remained the same.

Most of Haywood’s neighboring counties also saw decreases in rates. Crockett County, however, saw an increase from 8.4 percent in October to 9.0 percent in November. Fayette County had a decrease in unemployment from 8.3 to 7.7 percent. Lauderdale’s rate went down slightly from 14.4 percent to 14.1 percent. Madison County’s rate remained the same at 6.7 percent. Tipton and Shelby counties rates also decreased from 8.9 to 8.7 and 7.1 to 6.8 percent, respectively.

The state’s rate went from 7.0 percent in October to 6.9 percent in November. The national rate is 6.7 percent, up from 6.5 percent in October.


City braces for state budget cuts

Mayor Webb Banks this week briefed aldermen on a letter he’s received from Tennessee government stating that the state may be forced to cut revenues it shares with cities.

Banks said Brownsville’s budget includes almost $1.5 million in funds that come from the state, including portions of sales, beer and gasoline taxes. The state also provides money for street improvement.

State officials predict the state will be short $800 million in this fiscal year.

Banks said clues in the letter make him believe the state might cut as much as $400,000. “Before this year is over — before the next budget we’re going to have to face this,” Banks said. The city’s fiscal year ends June 30, 2009.

Banks said a combination of cuts and, perhaps, property tax increases could be required to make up for the shortfall.


Brownsville could benefit from federal budget largesse

While state officials are putting local governments on notice that funding may be cut, federal officials are saying that a stimulus package may provide new money for local infrastructure improvement.

Mayor Webb Banks said this week several organizations, including the Tennessee Municipal League and the West Tennessee Industrial Association, have instructed municipalities to put together a wish-list in case the incentive becomes reality.

Part of President-elect Barack Obama’s plan to get the economy going again is job creation through federally-funded infrastructure improvement.

Mayor Banks says city leaders have put together a list of items that could require $16 million. Banks said the list includes building the utility system required to annex south of I-40, replacing certain aging equipment at the Brownsville Utility Department, expanded downtown renovation and development of the new industrial park.

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