Good city news shared at Rotary
Published 4:00 am Thursday, July 9, 2015
“Manna from heaven” was the way Brundidge City Manager Britt Thomas described the $56,000 settlement the City of Brundidge received for economic damages done by BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
Thomas told the Brundidge Rotarians Wednesday that the city had enlisted the services of Beasley Allen Law Firm in Montgomery to file a claim in the suit against British Petroleum claiming lost revenue in the form of lost sales tax revenue from decreased beach traffic as a result of the oil spill. Thomas said, with attorneys’ fees, the city will net about $42,000.
And in other good news, Thomas told the Rotarians that the tax abatement offered to the Wal-Mart Distribution Center has expired and the city will now receive about $90,000 in tax dollars a year from the Wal-Mart DC.
“Rather than put that money in the bank and use it for general fund purposes, the city’s decision was to re-invest those dollars in the community by purchasing 222 acres adjacent to the North Industrial Park and along the railroad for industrial development,” Thomas said.
The 222 acres were purchased at a cost of $1.2 million. That decision to re-invest those tax dollars in industrial development could prove to be paramount to the decision decades ago for the city to own and operate its own electrical distribution system, Thomas said.
Chuck Caraway, owner and president of Southern Classic Food Group, has purchased 32 acres of the 222 acres designated for industrial development.
“The city cut about 15 acres of pines on that property and, as the other acres are developed, Chuck said the city can have the pines,” Thomas said. “Many industries are looking for property along railroads and the City of Brundidge now has one of the best railroad sites around.”
Thomas said utility rates are always of interest and concern to those who pay the bills.
As a word of forewarning, he told the Rotarians that coal is the cheapest way to generate electricity and, if coal is ever banned for that purpose, utility rates could jump 25 to 40 percent, he said. Thomas said the city was one of the first to replace its high-pressure sodium light bulbs with LED lights. The LED lights are more expensive but are longer lasting and require almost no maintenance.
“The savings to the city has been significant,” Thomas said.
The city’s sidewalk project, which is designed to install sidewalk along S.A. Graham Blvd. and Galloway Road, was a topic of interest to the Rotarians.
Thomas said project requires the acquisition of property and that has been a slow process.
“The sidewalks will be on the public right-of-way but the acquisition of property is necessary to be able to begin work.
Rotarian Cot Wallace expressed appreciation to all of those who have, over the years, made good sound decisions that made it possible for Brundidge to be on solid ground. He said good strong leadership in needed for the town to continue to prosper.