Brundidge revitalization meeting is Thursday

Published 10:41 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

If one grassroots project is successful, that could be the beginning of better times for downtown Brundidge.

The downtown area is the heart of any town. If the heart dies, so goes the town.

That’s the thinking of Paul Butler, former Brundidge resident and Montgomery architect, and Karen Ellis Carter, PCHS Class of 1970 valedictorian and member of the Troy University Board of Trustees.

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Butler and Carter have organized an a la carte lunch meeting at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Collier’s on Main in Brundidge. Everyone who has a heart for Brundidge and wants to see the town re-energized and growing is invited and encouraged to attend, Butler said.

“For Brundidge to grow and prosper, the citizens have got to want it to happen and then work to make it happen,” Butler said. “And it’s going to have to be a grassroots effort. Brundidge has to pull itself up by the bootstraps.”

Butler said Carter shares his passion for the place they call home.

“Karen’s leadership and passion for Brundidge will be paramount in the grassroots efforts to bring new life and energy to Brundidge,” Butler said. “Karen will share her ideas and we’ll share what other towns have done to successfully revitalize their communities.”

Butler said public support is necessary for any idea and any plan to be successful.

“It is also necessary for the city to be on board,” he said. “Any ideas or plans will have to be approved by the city so it’s imperative that we have the city’s support.”

Interest is growing in a sports wall that would spotlight athletes from Pike County High School and the Brundidge area, Butler said.

“I have designed several walls including one at Auburn and one at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut,” he said. “I will donate the architectural plans for the sports wall in Brundidge.”

Butler cited Project HERO is Greensboro as a possible starting place for the revitalization efforts.

“A multi-vendor incubator in one of the town’s vacant buildings would be a good starting place,” he said. “Install craft vendors and maybe do this in combination with a coffee shop. Like any incubator, the city would provide free rent and utilities for each vendor based upon individual need. In order for this to work it has to be multiple vendors and some can be consignment and not requiring full-time presence of vendor.”

Butler and Carter will present ideas that have the potential for success and those in attendance will have an opportunity to share their ideas.

“Thursday’s meeting is a starting place and we hope, when the meeting is over, we will have a starting place. That it will be a time of new beginnings,” he said.

Brundidge Mayor Isabell said she is supportive of anything that is good for Brundidge and appreciates the interest and efforts of Butler, Carter and all those involved in keeping Brundidge moving forward.

“We want Brundidge to be the best it can be,” Boyd said. “We are a caring community and our citizens want Brundidge to continue moving forward. Brundidge is blessed to have the Walmart DC, Southern Classic Foods, Magnolia Vegetable Processor and Brundidge Electronics. We are blessed to have the downtown businesses and the businesses out on the highway. We are already blessed in many ways and I’m for anything that will keep Brundidge moving forward.”

Brundidge Business Association President Kathy Sauer said she, too, is delighted that people are interested in finding ways to energize the town.

“The Thursday meeting will be an opportunity to look at specific ways to help Brundidge grow,” she said. “Hopefully, city and business leaders, and interested individuals will attend and bring their ideas to the forefront. The BBA is looking forward to learning about plans and projects that will be beneficial and bring new and exciting events and activities to Brundidge.”

Sauer said her hopes are that the visioning process will have definite results and define specific actions to move Brundidge forward.

The meeting will be from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Thursday at Collier’s. The lunch will be a la carte.

The meeting time is flexible to accommodate work schedules and appointments.