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Brundidge passes budget

The Brundidge City Council passed a budget Wednesday, but whether garbage fees and utility rates will increase remains to be seen.

With an additional $1.40 in cost per household to the city for garbage pickup, the council may decide to pass that cost on to Brundidge residents, six months after it originally came into affect.

“The issue remains unresolved,” said City Manager Britt Thomas. “At this time, nothing happens until an ordinance is passed.”

Thomas said whether utility rates will rise as high as he anticipated earlier this year also will remain unknown at least until Friday, when the supplier Powersouth makes a decision.

The amount won’t affect the budget significantly because any extra costs will be passed onto the consumer, Thomas said. It’s just a matter of how much.

Some things the city did include in its just more than $10 million budget are across the board raises for city employees and extra money for library renovations.

All city employees will receive an across the board 2.5 percent cost of living adjustment, and department heads will be given an additional 2.5 percent to distribute based on merit, said Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage.

The extra costs will total around $66,000 for the city’s 45 employees, and the raises will go into effect on the next pay period.

And, with a $150,000 library grant from the state, the city had to decide whether to just use that for renovations or to borrow money for a larger project.

“We have agreed in the budget to borrow $150,000,” Ramage said.

If the project designed is larger than $300,000, Ramage said the council may decide to borrow more at a later date.

There is no timeframe on the library renovations, but he said he hopes the planning will begin in the near future.

The six agencies the city allots funding to also remain the same, but a few saw an increase in funds donated.

East Central Mental Health, who was appropriated $10,000 in 2008, will now get $20,000 for their mentoring program.

Thomas said this isn’t an increase in funding really, since the council also donated additional funding after the budget was passed last year.

OCAP also received an additional $1,000 this year.

The Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, the Pike County Economic Development Corporation and the Pike County Transit System.

Ramage said overall, a $10 million is a nice size budget for a small town like Brundidge.

“It’s a good budget, and it’s a tad bigger than last year but not much,” Ramage said.