Recreation lease could top council agenda

Published 11:00 pm Friday, January 11, 2013

The Brundidge City Council could vote Tuesday on a proposed agreement for the Pike County Board of Education to lease the city’s recreational facility and provide recreational services for children in the town.

The council has discussed the proposal at pervious meetings but has not come to a decision.

The first proposal was for the Pike County Board of Education to lease the city’s recreational facilities for 15 years and provide the administration of the recreational services for the same period of time. However, the proposal was later amended to a two-year agreement for the administrative services.

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The Brundidge City Council expressed concern about a long-term agreement regarding the recreational services and requested a two-year agreement, which would give the city the opportunity to opt out if it so desired.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, said the board of education asked for a long-term lease in order to make capital improvements to the recreational facilities.

The council requested additional time to consider the proposal and also to engage in further discussions with Bazzell.

The board considered the lease agreement at its January 3 meeting but declined to vote due to the absence of two council members, Arthur Griffin, District 2, and Steven Coleman, District 5.

Griffin had asked to meet with Bazzell to discuss the concerns of his constituents.

During the term of the 15-year lease of the city’s recreational facilities, the city will pay the Pike County BOE $75,000 a year for the first five years of the lease and $56,250 for the remaining 10 years.

Britt Thomas, Brundidge city manager, said that $75,000 is the amount that the city budgets annually for its recreation program.

The City of Brundidge will be responsible for repairs and maintenance work on the buildings, driveways and parking area. The city will not charge the BOE for any utilities provided by the city, including sewer, water, electricity and garbage.

Thomas said the city does not currently charge the BOE for utilities provided by the city.

Both the City and BOE will carry adequate liability insurance.

Bazzell said the BOE is committed to providing a quality recreation program for the children of the Brundidge area.

“The sports programs at our schools need to mature and, for that to happen, we need good feeder programs and that is what we can offer through the recreation program,” Bazzell said. “We will run a good recreation program with good people working it and with people who will represent the Pike County School System and the City of Brundidge well. I see this opportunity as a win-win situation for our kids and for the City of Brundidge.”