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Splash pad grant denied

Brundidge City Manager Britt Thomas informed the city council on Tuesday that he had been informed that their splash pad funding application was denied. The city voted 4-1 to apply for a CDBG grant in June, with District 3 Councilwoman Margaret Ross voting against it and District 5 Councilman Steven Coleman absent.

The project would have cost the city $258,068 plus $117,497 in in-kind services. The grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) would have provided $250,000 for the project and private investors Cornelius and Kimberly Griffin pledged $50,000 toward the project if the grant had been awarded.

The council could reapply for the grant, but decided not to take any action at the meeting regarding the splash pad or any other project.

The majority of the meeting involved Thomas going through the budget for the 2017 fiscal year, specifically utility costs and revenues.

Thomas told the council that Power South, the company that Brundidge gets its power from, is set to reduce rates by 2 percent effective January 1, which will save the city some money in its utility costs.

He explained that he budgeted for less electric revenue after this year’s usage came in under budget by about $100,000 at $1.358 million.

“The weather was so moderate, people just didn’t have to use as much power,” Thomas said.

He budgeted $1.358 million for the upcoming year to reflect that.

He also talked about Power South implementing a program to come into elementary schools to teach kids where power comes from, as many young kids may not understand.

“You can go into groups at these schools and ask kids where the power comes from and they’ll point at the light switch,” Thomas said. “They just don’t know.”

Thomas also notified the council that they are coming up on the need to replace two vehicles in the electric department: a small bucket truck and a “digger derrick” truck for setting power poles. He said that the city’s backhoe will also need to be replaced soon.

“It’s beginning to cost enough money that it justifies getting a new one,” Thomas said. “If it’s not operational, we rent one that day and pay rent on it until we get ours working again.”

The council also discussed the possibilities for employee pay raises and asked Thomas to ring statistics on how long each employee has been there and how much they’re currently making to decide on how they issue pay raises.

The council members also brought up their interest in getting two police officers on duty at all times and requested a meeting with Police Chief Moses Davenport for December 27.

The date for the meeting has not yet been set.