Brundidge budget approved

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Brundidge City Council approved the city’s largest budget ever at its final regular meeting of 2012 Tuesday afternoon.

The $11,339,349 budget was the largest by $1 million and included a three percent across the board cost of living raise for regular, fulltime city employees.

The cost of the raise to the city for the remaining months of the fiscal year, January through September 2013, will be $29,635.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Britt Thomas, Brundidge city manager, said that the City considers the budget “nothing but a guide” regarding capital expenditures.

“We don’t include capital expenses, such as the purchase of vehicles, but consider them on an “as need” basis,” he said.

The budget was approved without the proposed changes to the administration of the city’s recreation department.

The council discussed the proposed lease between the City and the Pike County Board of Education. The proposed lease would give the board of education a 15-year lease on the city’s recreation facilities at Ramage park and include a two-year agreement that would turn the administrative services over to the board of education.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, Pike County superintendent of education, had proposed the long-term lease in order for the board of education to make capital improvements to the city’s recreation facilities.

Thomas said Bazzell asked for the 15-year lease in order to have “ownership of the facilities.”

Thomas said the two-year agreement for the administrative services would be reviewed after the second year and, if the city so desired, could reassume those services.

Councilman Arthur Griffin, District 2, said that he had received comments from his constituents who have reservations about agreement.

“I see where this could have problems down the road,” Griffin said. “I would like to sit down with Dr. Bazzell and have some questions that I have answered.”

The council elected to not make any changes in the administration of the city’s recreation department until a meeting can be arranged with the board of education.

In other business, the council voted to increase the Municipal Business License Issuance Fees from $5 to $10.

Thomas said the increase is allowable by law up to $12 and most municipalities in the area have increased their fees. The City issues about 400 business licenses a year.

The motion to increase the fees was made by Councilman Steven Coleman, District 5, with a second by Griffin.

In other business, Council Member Margaret Ross, District 3, was appointed as the council’s representative to the South Central Alabama Development Commission.

Mayor Jimmy Ramage said the Brundidge Business Association’s Annual Christmas Parade was a great success and expressed appreciation to the BBA and to the faculty and students at Pike County Elementary School.

“Involving the elementary students helped make this year’s parade the biggest ever,” Ramage said. “This type of involvement is what I envision for our recreation department in the future – all of our students being involved and excited about what is available to them.”

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