Ramage offers updates on city progress

Published 7:30 am Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage hosted Monday with the Mayor Monday afternoon at the Fine Arts Building at Pike County High School.

The purpose of the event was to bring citizens up to date on the state of the city and to entertain questions from the citizens.

However, it was the question that Ramage didn’t answer that generated the most interest: “The word around town is that you will not seek re-election and the concern is that the city will lose the benefit of your experience and contacts. Why step down now?”

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Ramage answered only that he has served almost 40 years. When the question was asked a second time, he didn’t answer.

The mayor did bring the citizens up to date on upcoming events including a visit from Gov. Robert Bentley on Thursday to tour Southern Classic Food Group and to make an announcement possibly regarding industrial growth in the city.

Ramage said the city has all of the infrastructure necessary to be industry ready and industry attractive.

“We have water, sewer, electricity, road access and rail access to the industrial site,” he said. “We have all the ingredients for industry. When an industry is looking for a place to locate, we can have what they need available in a few days or weeks and that’s a real incentive for industries to locate here.”

Ramage said Pike County has fiber capabilities that can transmit “tons of data” that few areas other than Huntsville and Mobile can claim.

“Brundidge is good location for industrial growth,” he said. “And, it’s happening with Magnolia Vegetable Processors and the expansion of existing industries.”

He cited Supreme Oil, Brundidge Electronics and Walmart, along with Southern Classic Foods as those with growth potential.

Ramage said Brundidge has been fortunate to have come back from the loss of its textile industries over the years.

He credited a strong infrastructure for providing the basis for industrial growth in the food manufacturing industry.

“We had good water, a capable wastewater treatment facility and cheaper electric rates than most other cities in our area with the exception of Dothan, Troy and Luverne and we’re getting closer to Troy,” he said.

“We are in the process of spending $2 million to upgrade our wastewater treatment system and we got lucky in being able to get a 20 year loan at 2.25 percent with ADEM,” he said.

“The city has a $6 million debt that we are going to redo at a considerable savings to the city.”

The mayor said the city is fortunate that recent investments have been made in the downtown area and the future for downtown Brundidge is promising.

“We have five new businesses opening in our downtown area and that’s amazing for a town our size,” Ramage said.

“That’s very encouraging and now we need to do our part by supporting these businesses.”

The mayor said the city’s TAP Grant has come through and sidewalks will be construction on S.A. Graham Boulevard and Galloway Road to accommodate pedestrian traffic.

He encouraged the support of the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library, which he said is outstanding.

Pike County High School is celebrating Homecoming this week with a pep rally at 5 p.m. Thursday in the gym and the game at 7 p.m. Friday.

The annual Brush Arbor Singing will be Oct. 28 at the Knox Ryals Pavilion, Halloween Treats for the kids on Oct. 29 on the lawn of City Hall and the Annual Peanut Butter Festival will be on Oct. 31, also on the grounds of City Hall.

“Come Home, It’s Suppertime,” which is Alabama’s Official Folklife Play, will be the first two weeks in November at the We Piddle Around Theater. Citizens are encouraged to support these local events.