Ramage updates ‘state of city’

Published 7:53 am Saturday, January 21, 2012

Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage gave a “state of the city” address to the Brundidge Business Association at its annual banquet on Thursday night and said that the city had a productive year in 2011 and that trend is expected to continue into 2012.

“In FY 2011, the city was able to acquire playground equipment at an auction at Dixie Academy for a discounted price and we installed the playground equipment at Galloway Park,” Ramage said. “In partnership with the Pike County Board of Education, the city resurfaced the track at the Pike County High School campus. The school system continues to allow citizens to utilize the facility. The contribution to the school cost $22,000.”

During the year, the city purchased the former doctor’s building at the annual tax sale by the Pike County Revenue commission for $2,100 and then replaced the building roof, resurfaced the parking lot and updated the building. The City has about $20,000 in the building, which is insured for $214,000.

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“This acquisition allowed the city to move the county’s revenue commission, probate judge and OCAP offices from Brundidge Station. The county will utilize the building as a voting location for future county and state elections,” Ramage said.

In FY2010, the City received a $79,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs for the purpose of replacing 104 streetlights with new green technology LED lights.

“In FY2012, the City will replace 91 250W/400W street lights with new 130W energy-efficient LED lighting along five major thoroughfares and upgrade the only traffic signal owned by the city,” Ramage said.

“We are doing this to increase energy and cost savings as well as promote safe transportation of goods.”

The streets that will upgrade include S.A. Graham Boulevard, South Main, Veterans’ Boulevard, Galloway Road and North Main Street. The Lott Boulevard traffic signal will also have lights replaced with LED lighting.

“A total of $69,950 in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds has been approved. The City will provide $11,531 in cash and in-kind match or 16 percent of total grant funds,” Ramage said. “Less maintenance also generates cost savings for these lights, which provide better perceived light and with less light loss. The funds were provided to the state by the Stimulus Funds.”

The city also partners with East Central Mental Health Mental Retardation to provide an after school program and a summer program that is separate from the recreation department. Last summer, an average of 60-65 children participated and as many as 80 at times, the mayor said.

The city teamed with Southern Classic Food Group and applied for funding from ADECA to assist the company in expanding its operations in Brundidge by adding a rail spur to serve the site. The total budget is $400,000 and the state contributed $250,000.

“Additional funding will be made available by the local electric cooperative through its revolving loan program,” Ramage said. “Southern Classic Food Group is investing additional capital in Brundidge and providing additional employment opportunities through this project.”

An off street-parking project in front of Brundidge Station was recently completed at a cost of about $60,000 to date.

“The city is considering several options for the grassed areas and transitioning areas between the two lots,” Ramage said. “The city was recently awarded $5,000 from the State of Alabama Tourism Department to advertise the festivals held locally. So, we are moving into FY2012 with optimism about the future of our city.”