Mitchell provides assistance in new roadway

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Features Editor

No matter how State Sen."Walking" Wendell Mitchell arrives in Brundidge, he is always welcome.

The senator has long been a supporter of the Brundidge community and many good things have come the town’s way through his efforts.

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He was welcomed to the Brundidge Rotary Club with a round of applause for his most recent "intervention" which will result in the opening of a street along the east side of the railroad track which will divert large truck traffic from the downtown area.

Mayor Jimmy Ramage said he talked with Pike County Commissioner R.A. Goodson and asked him to put the street on his wish list for Brundidge.

Goodson did.

He made the wish known to Mitchell who became a main player in the project, Ramage said.

"Senator Mitchell is also partly responsible for the roof on the old city hall building," he said. "We needed ‘x’ number of dollars for the project and he helped us come up with ‘x’ and we thank him for all of the support he has given us over the years. We really appreciate his interest in Brundidge and he has made a difference."

Mitchell praised the people of Brundidge for the way they promote their community.

"Coming into town I noticed a sign that read: Brundidge – next three exits," he said, laughing. "Montgomery is also ‘the next three exits.’ It’s great to see a community that take pride in itself. You have greater leadership here and it shows."

Mitchell spoke about redistricting and how it will affect the district he serves – Senate District 30.

"Every 10 years with the new census count, all legislative districts have to be realigned," he said. "The first plan we looked at split Troy and Brundidge and we all know that should not be. We are working hard to come up with a plan of our own, but we have never been able to redistrict ourselves, but this time, I think we will."

The senator also talked about and got feedback on that "four-letter" word, taxes.

He said suggestions have been made to eliminate tax on medicines and food items, which would please the populace. However, there is also the realization that more revenue must be generated for the state to fund public education.

Mitchell said either the state must find a way to cut back or find a stable source of revenue to fund education. Sales and income taxes are never stable and that is reason to give a long, hard look at increases in corporate and real estate taxes as sources of additional revenue, Mitchell said.

The senator couldn’t come to Brundidge and not express his excitement at the recent announcement

that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has selected Brundidge as the site for its newest and largest distribution center. The center will be an investment of $40 million and create 600 new jobs for the area.

‘When I was contacted, I was asked to get an incentive package passed in the legislature so a major company would locate in Brundidge," Mitchell said. "I wasn’t told who the company was. I was only told the initials were W.M. I thought, ‘Those are my initials,’ so I had to go to work on that."

Mitchell said it took a team effort to bring Wal-Mart to Brundidge and it was a effort that will pay great dividends for Brundidge, Pike County and the surrounding areas for many years to come.