Brundidge council denies theater lease request, approves loan

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Brundidge City Council Tuesday voted down the request by the Brundidge Historical Society to lease the former city hall building that is home to Alabama’s Official Folklife Play “Come Home, It’s Suppertime.”

The BHS has produced the award-winning, original folklife play for 16 years and requested the lease in order to ensure that the uniqueness of the theater would continue to be preserved.

Council Member Margaret Ross appealed to her constituents saying that the BHS has done an incredible job in turning a building that was a burned out hull into a theater that brings positive recognition to the city and opportunities for its citizens.

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Ross voted in favor of the BHS’ request as did Council Member Chris Foster District 5. However, Mayor Isabell Boyd said Foster could not vote because he is president of the BHS.

Council Members Betty Baxter, District 1, Arthur Lee Griffin District 2 and Byron Gaynor, District 4 voted against the historical society’s request to lease the building.

Representatives of the Brundidge Historical Society were present for the council’s vote and expressed disappointment in the vote.

The council voted to approve a $400,000 building loan through Troy Bank and Trust Company for the purchase and renovation of the former BB&T building on North Main Street.

The purchase price of the building is $200,000.

Prior to the vote, Council Member Margaret Ross District 3 said she understood the cost to be $250,000 with $50,000 toward the renovation.

Britt Thomas, city manager, said the $250,000 amount discussed at the council’s previous meeting was the cost of the building plus $50,000 for renovations through Sept. 30, 2016.

Thomas said the $400,000 loan would include a $200,000 line of credit for the renovation of the building.

The loan will be for 20 years at 2.48 percent with no closing costs or origination fees to the city. All council members were present and all voted in favor of the BB&T building loan.

In other business, the council voted to place liens on properties that have been deemed nuisances based on the city’s weed control ordinance. Thomas said the city has gone through all the necessary channels leading up the decision by the council.

The properties and owners are 177 S.A. Graham Blvd, Doris Mitchell; 7th Avenue, Sir Lawrence Wheeler; and Leona Place, Ida Mae Flowers.

“We will contact the Revenuer Commissioner’s office and the liens will be placed on the property,” he said. “The city will then have the grass mowed on the properties.”

When the property taxes are paid by the property owners the cost of the mowing will be paid to the city.

Thomas reviewed the city’s FY 2017 financials and said the city is in good shape financially based on the numbers.

Boyd reminded those in attendance of the “Salute to Veterans” at the National Guard Armory at 6 p.m. Friday and the Independence Day Parade at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

The council’s next regular meeting is set for July 4, a holiday. The council agreed to hold its next meeting on Thursday June 6.

The council meets regularly at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at Brundidge City Hall. The meetings are open to the public.