Brundidge resident seeks reimbursement

Published 7:13 pm Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The City of Brundidge’s on-going demolition project was the main topic of discussion at the Brundidge City Council meeting Tuesday.

Wynnette Fryer, who owns a house on Darby Street, expressed her frustration that her family complied with what she called an “or else” letter from the city and took down a tenant house on Tennille Road at a cost of $1,500.

Fryer said her mother, who was 91 years old at the time, received the letter and was upset by the letter.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“The house was unoccupied because we had made a decision not to rent it any longer,” Fryer said. “After my mother received the letter, we offered for the city’s fire department to burn the house as a training exercise but that was not an option, we were told.

“The letter was threatening that legal action could be taken, so my mother had the house taken down.”

Fryer said at that time there houses all around Brundidge that were abandoned or dilapidated.

“You could go on any street in town and see one,” she said. “If those property owners received letters such as the one my mother received, they obviously didn’t comply.”

Although that was two years ago, Fryer said property owners that “coasted along” are now benefiting from the demolition project.

“Their houses are being taken down at no cost to them and their property cleaned and improved,” she said. “What I’m asking the Council is that I be reimbursed for the $1,500 that it cost my mother to take the house down. We complied while others did not. The bottom line is that we complied and paid and those who sat on it are benefiting.”

Mayor Jimmy Ramage said the owners of the property on the demolition list had received letters.

Fryer said obviously that were non-compliant.

“Now they are being rewarded,” she said.

Councilmember Steven Coleman said he had received a similar request from a resident in his district and knew of five residents who had complied and could make similar requests.

The Council took no action on Fryer’s request.

However the Council did vote to adopt a resolution that substituted a structure at 167 Seventh Avenue belonging to Faira Starks for two trailers on the demolition list that have been removed.

Britt Thomas, city manager, said the Starks’ house was wrongly listed, and people had gone in and had removed the doors and windows.

Thomas said the cost of taking the pilfered house down would be about the same as the demolition of the trailers.

The Council approved a resolution for an Alabama Department of Transportation resurfacing project on U.S. 231 from the city limit on the south side of town to the city limit on the north side.

The Council amended the purchase of a 1.85 acre piece of property directly behind City Hall to reduce the acreage to exclude the property needed to accommodate a storage shed and an above ground pool.

Thomas said the city faces a non-compliance issue with ADEM regarding its water department.

“Every month our water department is to take samples and we just didn’t get the samples in in the required time,” Thomas said. “It had nothing to do with the safety of the city’s water. It was just not done at the appropriate time.”

Councilmember Cynthia Pearson expressed appreciation to the Brundidge Historical Society for the invitation to its Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival the last weekend in January.

“I really liked it. No I loved it,” Pearson said. “I was shocked. I never thought that, at my age, I would enjoy anyone telling me a story but I did. I will be back and next time I’ll have my husband with me.”

The Brundidge City Council meets at 4 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of the month at Brundidge City Hall.

The meetings are open to the public.