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Brundidge Council removes prison vote from agenda

A Brundidge City Council vote to hire a government affairs advisory service to lobby for Brundidge as the site of a 4,000 inmate correctional facility did not take place Tuesday night.

The Brundidge City Council was expected to vote on a contract that was presented at the council’s September 5 meeting. The $60,000 contract would engage the firm of Butler Snow LLP as the lobbying agent in the city’s efforts to be considered as a site for the construction of a new correctional facility for the State of Alabama.

However, Mayor Isabell Boyd said the item had been deleted from the agenda.

The Rev. Randy Harvey addressed the large crowd of Brundidge residents to express his concerns about the efforts to locate a 4,000-inmate correctional facility within the city.

Harvey said the prison would not be a good thing for Brundidge.

“What is being said about it being a good thing for Brundidge does not hold water,” Harvey said. “Look what has happened in Clio and Clayton. What have the prison done for those towns? They are close to being ghost towns.

“Along with prisons come crime and drugs  –on the inside and the outside.” Harvey said there are no social and economic benefits to a prison being located in Brundidge.

“A 4,000 inmate prison in a town of 2,000; that does not compute,” he said, adding that the $60,000 lobbying fee would be better spent to clean up the town and make it a more desirable place to live and work.”

In council action, following a public hearing, the council voted to declare the property of Thomas Cook, Sr. on Highway 93 a weed nuisance and place a lien on the property. The council also voted to hire Brook’s Service to eliminate the weeds from property at a cost of $500.

Kari Barley, executive director of the Pioneer Museum of Alabama addressed the council and asked for its financial support in providing services to the people of Pike County, especially children.

“The Pioneer Museum of Alabama is a rest area for tourists and provides information about places of interest in the county.

“The museum offers programs especially for children,” she said. “The museum pays school bus mileage for students to attend Pioneer Days in October and we offer other incentives to schools.”

Barley said the museum staff has long supported the Brundidge Peanut Butter Festival with a booth and activities and the museum’s purpose meshes well with activities at the We Piddle Around Theater.

Boyd said the request would be considered.

In final action, the council voted an appropriation in the amount of $65,000 in support of the Brundidge Industrial Board’s efforts to purchase the former chipper mill site that is in foreclosure.  The site is on the north side of town and along the railroad.

Boyd said the purchase would be beneficial to the city in that it would provide road access to the area.

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