Brundidge council talks downtown revitalization

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, August 16, 2017

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Brundidge City Council found the property of William Griffin on John Street in violation of the city’s weed control ordinance. The council voted to assess the property in the amount of the $1,800 fee necessary to bring the property into compliance with the weed ordinance.

Prior to the council’s regular meeting, a public hearing was held to provide an opportunity for public input into to the assessment of the William Griffin property. No one spoke in favor of or opposition to the resolution.

Marsha Gaylard, president of the Pike County Economic Development Corporation, was the guest speaker at the meeting.

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Gaylard discussed with the council different opportunities to grow the city’s downtown area and make it more attractive to businesses.

She said she has talked with Mayor Isabell Boyd and Council Member Chris Foster about the need for a spec building in Brundidge.

“Brundidge is fortunate to have an industrial park but there is a need for a spec building,” Gaylard said. “Eighty percent of the projects that are looking to locate in the state are looking for an available building.  It goes in cycles. At times, it’s raw land, but right now it’s an available building.”

Gaylard said funding could be available through Power South’s building program. Applications may also be made through South Alabama Electric.

“The maximum is $400,000 and that’s a great way to fund a spec building, which is important to a lot of customers looking to locate within the city limits.”

Gaylard said the location of new retail businesses is based on demographics and income and that’s limiting for a small city.

Interest was expressed in another grocery store. However, Gaylard said, based on population numbers another grocery store might not be warranted.

Chuck Caraway, owner of Collier’s on Main, said Brundidge needs investment dollars and local investors.

“Most all people who invest in businesses do so to make money,” he said. “Brundidge needs investors who believe they can make a profit or are willing to take a risk in being a part of the community.”

Boyd said local citizens can play an important role in maintaining existing businesses by supporting the ones that are here.

Marketing has much to do with the success of any business and marketing is the key for Brundidge businesses, she said.

Margaret Ross, council member District 3, suggested business investments by Brundidge citizens who have the means to help build back the downtown area.

In other business, the council voted in favor of participation in the RSA Retirement One-Time Lump Sum Payment, in the amount of $3,800 for eight or nine retired city employees.

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