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Brundidge City Council meets

The Brundidge City Council voted Tuesday in favor of a five percent cost of living raise for all city employees dating back to Dec. 30, 2016.

Mayor Isabell Boyd made the recommendation and the council voted unanimously in favor of the raise. Brundidge City Manager Britt Thomas said the raise would cost the city $98,905 including benefits.

The council also discussed the city’s rental policy for Brundidge Station, which housed the Brundidge Nutrition Center. The proposed changes to the policy included an increase in the rental fee from $100 per day with $50 refundable deposit to $200 per day with a $100 refundable deposit. Also, the lessee mush have the building cleaned, if marked on the application they will clean the facility, and be out of the building by 12 a.m.

The proposed changes stated that the lessee must provide licensed security or off duty police officer, at lessee’s expense, if the event is between 6 p.m. and 12 a.m. Referenced on the rental policy, no concession sales or admission charges are allowed to be collected on the premises of Brundidge Station at any time.

The proposed changes were to be effective were to be effective January 1. 2017.

Council Member Betty Baxter, District 1, opposed the proposed changes for the multipurpose facility.

“The building is available for use by Brundidge citizens and we are not a wealthy community,” Baxter said. “Many people cannot afford to pay $200 to rent the building and they cannot afford to pay a security guard. If security is needed, we have officers with the Brundidge Police Department on duty.”

Council members Margaret Ross, District 3, and Byron Gaynor, District 4, expressed concern about the use of masking tape and other adhesives being used to attach banners, etc. to the walls.

When the tape is pulled off, the paint comes off the wall as well, the city council members said.

Baxter also said the 12 a.m. curfew does not give the lessee adequate time to vacate the building after an event. Mayor Boyd agreed, as did Arthur Griffin, District 2, and Gaynor.

Council Ross was opposed to the 2 p.m. curfew. Council Member Chris Foster, District 5, did not express an opinion. Foster asked about alcohol use on the premises and asked what opinions the city would have if damages to the property were not paid. Thomas said that could become a legal matter.

However, he said that, over the life of Brundidge Station, there have been few incidents of abuse of the facility or issues of disturbance. He reminded the council that Brundidge Station is a multi-purpose facility.

Council Member Griffin asked about the fire Marshal’s code regarding occupancy but the number was not immediately available. The council tabled the vote on the proposed policy change until that information can be made available.

Thomas reviewed the city’s budget for the FY 2017 with the council. The Brundidge City Council meets at 6 p.m. the first and third Tuesday’s of the month at Brundidge City Hall. The meetings are open to the public.