Brundidge council considers investing in spec building

Published 10:50 pm Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Brundidge City Council will give serious consideration to participating in a spec building project that would make the city more attractive to prospective industry.

Marsha Gaylard, Pike County Economic Development Corp. president, told the council Tuesday that 85 percent of prospective industries are looking for an available building.

“We just missed an opportunity because there was no available building,” Gaylard told the council. “Brundidge has the advantage of a wastewater treatment facility and food industries. And, Brundidge has a rail system. You are in a good situation.”

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However, Gaylard said Brundidge needs an available building to be seriously attractive to prospective industries.

Gaylard said the Power South Spec Building Program provides funding to build building shells that locating or relocating industries can complete according to their specifications.

South Alabama Electric Corp. also has funds available to build spec buildings.

Gaylard said the typical spec building would be about 50,000 square feet.

“If a spec building sells, then you pay off the loan and build another one,” she said.

“If we are going to grow our industrial bases, we need something in Troy and Brundidge to sell to prospective industries.”

Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage said he and the council understand the importance of having an available building in attracting industry to Brundidge.

“What Power South would have available to us would be a $400,000 low-interest loan,” Ramage said. “We would pay the interest on the loan for four years and, hopefully, have an industry in the building by that time and be able to pay off the loan.”

Ramage said there is the possibility of getting a similar grant/loan from South Alabama Electric in the amount of $200,000.

“The prospects are exciting and a spec building program would be very beneficial to the future growth of Brundidge,” he said.

Ramage said a site for a spec building has not been determined. However, the city owns industrial site property just off Highway 231 that has the infrastructure in place.

Ramage said that many of the city’s sidewalks are in need of repair. He suggested that a list needs to made and prioritized and a work schedule to begin the repairs put in place. “Coach (Wayne) Grant is getting the teams for our summer recreation program picked and schedules made,” Ramage said. “Some of the boys’ teams will play here, others in Troy and some in Ariton and Zion Chapel. We will be able to have girls’ softball this year.”

In other business, Britt Thomas, city manager, reported that the LED lights necessary to complete the city’s street light project have been delivered.

“In the next couple of weeks, the lights will start going up,” he said. “The deadline for the completion of the project is June 30.

Councilman Lawrence Bowden suggested that the city purchase generators for the city’s water tanks that could be used in the event of a disaster that caused the city to lose power for several days or more.

The Brundidge City Council meets at 4 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of month at City Hall. The meetings are open to the public.