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Chamber funding passed

Features Editor

The Brundidge City Council voted Tuesday to increase its funding to the Pike County Chamber of Commerce from $500 a month to $1.666.67 from June 1 through Sept. 30, 2002.

The vote came after the council had twice carried the request forward, citing questions and concerns as the reasons for the failure to act on the request.

Mayor Jimmy Ramage and Council members Sherroll Tatom and Vernon Jackson attended a meeting hosted by the chamber Thursday afternoon and Ramage came away satisfied that his questions had been answered.

"Our concerns were that the economic development effort be separate from the Chamber," he said. "A separate authority may be the vehicle we want to use – maybe not."

The council voted to increase the funding to the chamber during the remainder of the fiscal year and then reconsider the request.

"We can amend the budget for four months and then look at it again," he said.

The council resolved one issue but left another on the table.

A request by the Brundidge Historical Society for use of the old city hall building as a community theater was left hanging.

Ramage said the request was discussed in a work session, but no decision was reached. The council will further consider the request at the council’s work session on June 28.

The request was made at the June 4 council meeting by Lawrence Bowden, a member of the organization that sponsored the highly successful folklife play in Brundidge in April.

The council approved an ordinance which will increase water rates for heavy commercial users from 60 cents per 1,000 gallons to $2.20 per 1,000 gallons when consumption is 500,000 gallons or more.

The increase does not affect residential or small business rates.

Ramage said

this is the first increase in water rates since 1987.

"The rate increase is in line with other cities in our area and still less than most of them even with the increase,"

he said. "With the growth that Brundidge is experiencing, this is just a move we need to make."

The monthly rate for heavy commercial users will drop from $2.20 per 1,000 gallons for consumption of 500,000 to $1.87 per 1,000 gallons when use passes 1 million gallons.

The ordinance further states that the water consumption rate for usage in excess of 500,000 gallons will increase annually on Oct. 1 by 2 percent.

Sewer rates are set for all nonresidential customers at a $5 base charge and 11 cents per 100 gallons for the first 500,000 gallons and $1.26 per hundred gallons for all over 500,000.

Sewer consumption for usage in excess of 500,000 gallons will increase annually on Oct. 1 by 2 percent.

In other action, the council:

· Passed a resolution for the transfer of 10.09 acres from the city to Alabama Electric Cooperative in order to construct a substation for the Wal-Mart Distribution Center project.

· Passed a resolution giving the city the authority to sign paperwork, along with the Brundidge Industrial Development Board, in compliance with the EDA grant for the property included in the the Southern Classic Food Group project.

· Tabled a request for an alcohol license by Tonya McClelland. The council requested that McClelland be asked to appear before the group before action is taken.

· Expressed appreciation to the Pike County Board of Education for its decision Monday night to demolish the two-story, main building at Pike County High School and build a new facility.