Brundidge considers a train-watching park

Published 10:53 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Train watching could soon be in vogue again in Brundidge if the City Council votes to make the area in and around Brundidge Station a recreational park.

Members of the Council chuckled Tuesday afternoon when City Manager Britt Thomas told them that one of the options for the remediation of park issue before the council is a park designated, in part, to train watching.

Thomas said that he, too, was a little surprised when he was told by a representative from the Land and Water Division of ADECA that train watching has become a popular pastime in many areas and is considered a form of recreation.

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The City Council has until December 2012 to create a remediation park on property valued at $33,000, which is comparable to the value of the original park property.

In 1977, the City received funds from the former Bureau of Outdoor Recreation to build a park on the “schoolhouse hill.” In recent years, the property was sold for industrial purposes. However, the City Council was notified by the Land and Water Division of ADECA that another area must be designated as a recreational park.

The Brundidge City Council has several location options for the park, Thomas said.

“The area at Brundidge Station could be used as a multi-use park that would include train watching,” he said. “Or the city has 11 acres off Veterans Boulevard that could be used as a recreational area and even a community garden. And the Ramage park area is also an option. Walking trails would be a possibility there.”

Although the council has until December 2012 to create a new park, Thomas said the sooner, the better.

Thomas also told the council that the lease the city had with the Pike County Board of Education for the property known as “the Hole” has expired.

“The city no longer has an obligation at the Hole,” he said.

The Council heard an annual report for 2010 by the Brundidge Chief of Police.

Chief Moses Davenport said that the police department has instituted a ranking system designed to attract and keep outstanding officers on the police force.

“There will now be an opportunity for our officers to move up in rank and that will make it easier for us to keep and get the best officers possible,” he said. Davenport also said that the department no longer has a school resource officer.

The Brundidge Police Department now has cameras and computers in its patrol cars and the officers have been issued shotguns and are becoming “familiar” with them. Each shift will also have an AR-15 but the officers must qualify to use that rifle.

Thomas presented the January financials to the Council and said a concern is the 2-cent local gas tax, which was down considerably. Otherwise, the budget is on track.

In closing, Eric Loprete addressed the council and said that he would like to make Brundidge his home but he doesn’t see a long line of like-minded people behind him.

In order for a line to form, Loprete presented a list of ideas that he believes will attract people to town. He included work/study incentive programs, nature trails, a community-wide spruce-up initiative and an arts program.