Brundidge moves toward revitalization

Published 11:15 pm Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The City of Brundidge is moving fast ahead with plans to revitalize the downtown area.

Marsha Gaylard, Pike County Economic Development Corporation president, addressed the Brundidge City Council Tuesday night and outlined a plan for a Retail Business Incubator that could bring shoppers downtown.

Gaylard said a city-owned North Main building could be divided into areas for small individual businesses, with each business having its own storefront. Gaylard said the outside of the building could be made attractive and inviting and would, therefore, be an enhancement to the downtown area.

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Gaylard suggested that the city apply for a $100,000 USDA Rural Development grant for FY2019. Such a grant is available only for city-owned buildings.

She also brought awareness to the Local Foods, Local Places EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) program that helps communities create plans for using local foods to help meet community goals.

Gaylard said an indoor farmer’s market could serve a dual purpose by occupying a now-vacant building, also providing an outlet for local farmers to sell their produce.

The council voted for Mayor Isabell Boyd and City Manager Britt Thomas to begin the necessary steps that would lead to the application process for a USDA grant to help fund a Retail Business Incubator.

The council voted tax-exempt status for OCAP. The exemption will be for city sales and use taxes.

The council also approved consultant services in the amount of $34,500 for the city’s ALDOT Project for the construction of sidewalks from the existing sidewalks on Galloway Road to Veterans Boulevard and from Windmill Drive to Veterans Boulevard. 

Maxine Dubose and Earl Snodgrass, residents of Johnson Street in the city’s Caldwell Subdivision, were in attendance to access in information about any progress that has been made to alleviate the years-long problem the District 3 residents have with the water overflow from Mims Creek borders.

Dubose said the overflow water turns residents’ backyards into bogs and is killing the trees.

City Council Member Margaret Ross, District 3, said water comes into the creek from city streets and creates a nuisance. 

“When there is a lot of wind and/or rain, the electricity in our section goes about because the lines are in the tree limbs,” Ross said and asked what the city could do to alleviate that problem.

Thomas said the city cannot go onto private property to cut the trees. The city is working with the Army Corps of Engineers to determine how to solve the problem of Mims Creek.

Nicole Dickens spoke before the council expressing her concern about the recent tazing and handcuffing of her 13-year-old son by a Brundidge police officer who responded to a fight on the library grounds between her son and another young man.

In earlier action, the council voted to approve Demetria Pickett’s request to rezone the property at 384 East End Circle from R-2 Medium Density Residential, to MHR, Mobile Home Residential.  Pickett plans to locate at 16×60 mobile home on the property.

The council also determined that Sir Lawrence Wheeler’s property on 7th Avenue is non-compliant with the city’s weed control ordinance. The council voted to place a lien on Wheeler’s property.

Public hearings were held prior to the council’s regular meeting on Tuesday. No one spoke for or against Pickett’s rezoning request. Wheeler was not present for his hearing nor was he represented.

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.