Brundidge council awards abatements

Published 3:00 am Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Brundidge City Council granted tax abatements to two food-manufacturing industries at its Tuesday meeting.

Britt Thomas, city manager presented the requests from, 881 Solutions and Southern Classic Food Group to the council.

Thomas said 881 Solutions has purchased the former Supreme Oil building and is making a $1.3 million investment in the city’s industrial growth.

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The abatement will be for the sales and use tax associated with the renovations to the building that are necessary for the production of food products.

The one-time abatements are $6,000 from the city, $12,000 from the state and $4,500 from Pike County. Taxes designated for education are exempt from the tax abatements.

“Initially, 881 Solutions will have three employees,” Thomas said. “That number will increase to five the first year of operation and to 20 the second year. However, there will be many people working at the site during the time the improvements are being made to the building.

Thomas said 881 Solutions would also lease warehouse space to local industries.

Southern Classic Foods plans a $3.5 million investment in manufacturing equipment but the investment will not include new jobs, Thomas said.
The one-time sales tax abatements will be $50,000 for the City of Brundidge, $100,000 for the state and $37,500 for Pike County. The exemptions do not include sale taxes specified for education.

Robert Poe, a Brundidge property owner, spoke to the council expressing his concern about the city’s escalating crime rate.

Poe said perception can be reality and the perception, and therefore the reality, is that the increasing crime rate in Brundidge is having an adverse effect on the business and residential communities.

Poe and his wife, Mary, are the founders of The House of Hope in Brundidge. He expressed appreciation to the council for the city’s support of the facility for female adults who are recovering from drug and alcohol additions.

Poe said he has seen how dreams come true when people work together and pull together.

“When that happens, you find that you can do things you never dreamed possible,” he said. “What is being accomplished at The House of Hope would not have been possible had it not been for those who have partnered with us.”

Poe said his belief is that the crime rate in Brundidge can be greatly reduced if the city’s citizens will work together to make it happen.

Poe introduced Tony Garrett, Central Alabama Crime Stoppers director, to the council and said that Crime Stoppers has a proven track record when it comes to reducing crime in communities and could be beneficial to Brundidge.

“Crime Stoppers’ interest is in connecting with communities in an effort to stop crime,” Garrett said. “We assist law enforcement in nine counties in Central Alabama. When a crime occurs, Crime Stoppers sends out media releases all over the nation. We have that information on social media within minutes. Crime Stoppers also has an app that allows tipsters to download information anonymously and then be erased from the device.

“On the local level, Crime Stoppers provides assistance for groups that are interested in organizing neighborhood associations and neighborhood watches. We can come in and meet with community leaders and help develop a crime prevention program.”

Garrett offered to meet with community leaders in Brundidge to discuss organizing watch associations and other solutions to the rising crime rate.

Brundidge Mayor Isabell Boyd thanked Poe and Garrett and said she is very receptive to having Crime Stoppers partner with the City of Brundidge.

“We are concerned and we are going to do what it takes to reduce crime in Brundidge,” she said.

Boyd said the purchase of the former Supreme Oil building by 881 Solutions and the upgrades at Southern Classic Foods are moving the food manufacturing industry forward in Brundidge. She expressed appreciation for the roles those industries play in the local economic growth.

“The Chris Nickson Summer Camp at Galloway Park is underway and the Brundidge Business Association’s Independence Day Parade will be on June 30,” Boyd said. “We encourage everyone to support the events, activities and businesses in Brundidge.”

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.