Brundidge council purchases land for city

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Brundidge City Council voted Tuesday to purchase 1.8 acres of property directly behind Brundidge City Hall for future use and growth.

Brundidge City Manager Britt Thomas told the Council that he had been approached by the property owner who offered the property to the City for $7,000 with 10 percent down.

Thomas said Brundidge is known as a festival city and the grounds could be used for that and other similar purposes.

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“We don’t know what the future holds but, if the city doesn’t purchase the property, it can’t be used for public use,” Thomas said.

The council members in attendance voted in favor of the purchase. Council members Arthur Lee Griffin and Steven Coleman were not present.

In response to a question by Council Member Margaret Ross regarding pay for the city workers who were unable to work during the recent ice and snow event, Thomas said that initially the workers had the option of taking an annual leave day in order to receive pay for those days.

However, Thomas said he has rethought the situation and the annual leave will be restored to the workers who chose to take it. Those who worked during the weather event will be granted administrative leave to be used at their discretion.

Thomas said the winter weather delayed the start of the city’s demolition project that will remove designated dilapidated structures throughout the city.

The work is underway and structures have been taken down on Veterans Boulevard and Wilkes and McGuire streets. All of the original structures and the add-ons should be removed within the scope of the project, Thomas said.

The council reviewed the city sales and gas tax numbers and the news was both good and not so good.

The city’s sales tax for 2013 at $24,256 was up 6 percent from the prior year, but still down from b 2011 when the tax put $46,345 in the city’s coffer.

Thomas said indications are that the economy is turning around. However, the gas tax is not on track. The 2013 local gas tax, down 10 percent from 2012, took the hardest hit. The 4-, 5-and 7-cent taxes which are allocated by state law were down 1 percent in 2013.

But a positive sign is that the state taxes were up 2 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

Willie Wright, principal of Pike County High School and administrator of the city’s recreation department, said 125 kids are participating in the city’s basketball league and that support by the parents has been tremendous.

“We are moving in the right direction with the recreation program,” Wright said. “The parents are becoming more involved. They are filling the stands and that’s what we want. We do need more coaches for all sports and we greatly appreciate those who are willing to give time to the recreation programs.”