Budget near completion in Brundidge

Published 9:15 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Brundidge City Council may pass a budget today that doesn’t call for a utility raise as high as originally anticipated.

After a meeting with Brundidge’s utility supplier Powersouth Tuesday afternoon, City Manager Britt Thomas said an increase will still be necessary, but not one that will hit as hard as they thought earlier in the year.

“There will still be an increase, but not as much as we prepped for,” Thomas said.

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Thomas said he isn’t sure yet how much the bills will go up on average per Brundidge household, but numbers will be more clear Friday when Powersouth makes a final decision.

In Tuesday’s council meeting, members recessed until Wednesday afternoon, so they could potentially pass a budget after 4 p.m. today, a month and a half already into the new fiscal year.

Typically, a budget runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 the following year. This budget, will go from Dec. 1 through next September.

The budget proposed to council members Tuesday is balanced, with expected expenses less than expected revenues for the new year.

It also doesn’t stray too much from last year’s budget, unless the council makes any big changes Wednesday.

Some areas the council will have to consider are employee salaries, monthly appropriations and the addition of a higher garbage fee.

In July, costs to the city of Brundidge to collect garbage increased by $1.40 per household, per month, and the council agreed to absorb the cost until the next budget year.

Now, they will have to determine whether to pass on that cost, and if so, how much.

The council may also consider what types of renovations to do on the Brundidge Library.

With $150,000 state grant for capital library improvements, council members will have to determine whether to start a project that will be covered by the grant, or if they will borrow more money to do the expansions they originally intended.

Thomas said the council doesn’t necessarily have to make that decision prior to passing a budget, as other capital projects haven’t been budgeted in the past.

“In the past, with the exception of two police cars to the department, we did not budget for any capital projects,” Thomas said.

Also in the meeting, council members approved a resolution to allow T-Mobile to locate on the city’s existing phone tower on Main Street.

Andy Rotenstreich, an attorney representing T-Mobile, said the company hopes to improve coverage by locating 280-feet high on the 340-foot tower.

“We’re trying to improve coverage for our customers,” Rotenstreich said.

Rotenstreich said the coverage now in Brundidge is very limited, and when they have located on the tower, it will be expanded for the city, as well as the city of Troy.

Within the next four months, the project should be complete, he said.

Council members also announced Community Thanksgiving will be held in Brundidge at 7 p.m. on Nov. 25. The Brundidge Christmas celebrations will be Tuesday, Dec. 2 beginning at 6 p.m.

The night will include a parade and a storytelling festival.