Gas gives back to city

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Greg Henderson, Southeast Alabama Gas District, president and CEO, was the guest of the Brundidge City Council at its Tuesday meeting.

Henderson told the council members that Brundidge is a blessed city, blessed in that in 1952, the city leaders elected for Brundidge to become a member city of the gas district. Henderson said there are 14 municipal members of Southeast Alabama Gas District, which was formed to bring economic development to the area.

“The belief was that gas would be a catalyst in the economic growth of Southeast Alabama,” Henderson said.

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Southeast Alabama Gas District is committed to the communities it serves and has made provisions to give dollars back to those communities based on gas usage. The district has a “Give Back to Schools” refund program through which the schools are allowed to use the refunded dollars as needed.

“The money can be used for books or new football lockers; it’s up the schools as to how they want to use the funds,” Henderson said. “This year we initiated a scholarship program based on service to the community. The scholarships are awarded in the amount of $1,500.”

The good news about natural gas is that there is a lot of it and that the rates have remained “flat.”

“But we could use some cold weather right now,” Henderson said, laughing. “Gas usage is down because of the warm weather we’ve been having and, also, because buildings are more energy efficient.”

Henderson said, in addition to the 14 municipal members, Southeast Alabama Gas District has 21 franchises, with its biggest growth area at Pike Road.

In city business, Britt Thomas, city manager, asked the council to consider using the $500,000 proceeds from the utility refund revenue warrants to pay down the loan for the North Industrial Park to a remaining balance of $580,000.

“If we do that we could possibly get rid of the loan in seven years,” Thomas said. “Also, we expect the closeout on the bankruptcy court (TransLoad America) to be around $235,000.”

Thomas said reducing the loan for the North Industrial Park would be beneficial in that the city has two upcoming paving projects that will have to be funded.

The council took no action on the usage of the proceeds from the utility refund revenue warrants.

The council approved drafted drawings for the mural planned for the back wall of the Watson Building. The mural is a Brundidge Business Association project. Amanda Trawick, a local artist, has been commissioned for the project.

The council discussed the holiday schedule for the city, which will give workers a half-day on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

The council’s next regular meeting will be at 10:30 a.m. on December 15.

The council’s normal meeting time and dates are 4 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of the month. The meetings are held at Brundidge City Hall and are open to the public.