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City’s residents discuss future

A Public Workshop designed to develop a comprehensive plan for the city of Brundidge took place Thursday at Brundidge Station.

A group of proactive citizens teamed up with the forum coordinator, Tracy Delaney of the South Central Alabama Development Commission, to review previously discussed goals and objectives for the city and further discuss strategies for their implementation.

It was the third and final workshop before concepts will be presented to the community, and later city officials.

“Brundidge citizens have been very industrious,” Delaney said. “They’ve worked real hard, their ears have been open and they’ve been willing to look at alternatives.”

Participants discussed several issues regarding long-term plans for the city beginning with economic development.

“(U.S. Highway) 231 is an artery,” said Jimmy Hollis, formerly the owner of Hollis Furniture in Brundidge.

“Money flows down 231, and it comes through and says ‘here I am, take me’ and we’re not taking it,” he said.

Residents proposed several ways to “take it,” including the further promotion of downtown merchants on U.S. Highway 231 and the need for local businesses to modify hours of operation.

Delaney later suggested that potential businesses on Highway 231 should encourage consumers passing through to do some additional shopping in the downtown area and not take away from those central businesses.

The discussion then tackled the issue of city utilities.

Delaney said that overall, the utilities and infrastructure of Brundidge are strong and should be sufficient to attract industries and people.

“Brundidge is in very good shape,” she said.

Some residents however, voiced their concern over commercial utility fees.

Delaney took note of the issue before moving on to the topic of transportation.

Residents agreed that 18-wheelers moving through downtown Brundidge is a problem.

The issue was later addressed with a possible re-route that would take big rigs around Alabama’s Own Antique City by way of Veterans Blvd., north of town.

Delaney said that should the proposed truck route be accepted, the city could still meet resistance from the State.

Housing was another issue the group discussed in detail.

Delaney said there’s not much dilapidated housing in Brundidge but there’s too much deteriorating housing.

“I’d like to see you consider some redevelopment program,” she advised.

Delaney explained that much of the housing in Brundidge in a deteriorating state could be improved with some effort.

Other ideas for the development of new housing offered and Delaney said that a solid plan to attract people to Brundidge would not be in vain.

“You have something very special here,” she said.

The next phase in the comprehensive plan will be an Open House Come and Go Public Review and Comment Meeting on April 1.

Delaney said that residents of Brundidge are encouraged to come to the meeting which will have displays stations set up to bring residents up to speed on proposed concepts.

People can come and go as they please and leave written or verbal feedback on any of the elements of the comprehensive plan that Delaney said goes out 20 years and should be reviewed and revised every five years.