Brundidge sales tax revenue in upward trend
Published 7:31 pm Wednesday, June 18, 2014
The City of Brundidge is a $19.5 million municipal corporation with no general fund debt and no special revenue debt. That’s not bad for a city with a population of 2,000 in rural South Alabama, officials said Tuesday.
Brundidge City Manager Britt Thomas was the program guest of Mayor Jimmy Ramage at the Wednesday meeting of the Brundidge Rotary Club.
Thomas presented a positive picture of Brundidge and gave credit to wise decisions made by former and present city leaders.
“The decision made many year ago to take ownership of our electric system made it possible for Brundidge to be where it is today,” Thomas said. “Good decisions have been made all up down the line.”
Thomas reviewed the audit report that ended on Sept. 30, 2013, with the Rotarians.
“The sales tax revenue is a good barometer of where we are,” he said. “Sales tax revenue is the second largest contributor to the general fund. Sales tax has been up and down over the past few years – down 7 percent in 2009 and 2010, up 12 percent in 2011, down 9 percent in 2012 but up 6 percent in 2013 and up 7.5 percent so far in 2014. Hopefully, the upward trend will continue.”
Thomas said the city was fortunate to have $635,876 in federal funds to spend over the past year.
Thomas said he is proud to say the city has had no incidence of non-compliance in the required reporting of government programs.
One area of the budget where the city was far over projections was in health and sanitation expenditures, at 314 percent. Thomas said legal fees related to the Brundidge Landfill lawsuit were the reason for the majority of the expenditures.
The construction and renovation projects at the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library have been completed and the entire facility is open to the public.
The city turned its recreation program over to the Pike County School System and that is working well, Thomas said.
“This has been a very positive venture for the city,” Thomas said. “We couldn’t keep the kids involved the way we were going about it. The schools needed fields for their athletic programs. When Mayor (Jimmy) Ramage and Dr. Mark Bazzell (superintendent of Pike County Schools) discussed the need, Mayor Ramage asked if the school system would be interesting in running the recreation program. It has worked well.”
Thomas said the agreement with the school system was to run the recreation program for two years. The lease agreement for the fields is 15 years.
A concern city leaders do have is the Senior Nutrition Program at the Robert E. Barr Nutrition Center.
“This is an outstanding program for our seniors,” Thomas said. “They are served a meal and they play games and have speakers to provide information on topics of interest to seniors. However, the number of participants is down to a point that we could lose this service for our seniors. Socialization is an important part of the lives of our seniors. We need this service for them.”
Thomas encouraged the Rotarians to let the city’s seniors know about the program and its benefits.
Chuck Caraway, owner of Southern Classic Foods, also was a guest of the Rotarians. He said city leaders have been forward-thinking and that has paved the way for continuous industrial growth.
“I commend the city for preparing Brundidge for the future in the recruitment of business,” Caraway said.