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Brundidge plans grant to upgrade water lines

The Brundidge City Council held a public hearing prior to its Tuesday meeting to allow public input into the city’s 2019 Community Development Block Grant application.

Ashton Hutchinson, grant coordinator, said the city is  considering a combination grant that would fund the upgrade of four-inch water lines to six-inch lines on Oak, Ramage and Lee streets and also provide funds for the demolition of blight within the city, including residential and commercial structures.

Britt Thomas, city manager, said the larger water lines are needed to improve residential water pressure. The increased water pressure will also increase the pressure of water needed for fighting fires in those areas.

Thomas said the water line upgrades on the specified streets would complete the waterline upgrades citywide.

The upgrades to the water lines on Oak Street would be $118,828 and on Ramage Street, $102,705 for a total of $356,872. The city’s grant match would be 10 percent.

Thomas said the city has compiled a list of structures that would be top priority for demolition if the grant application were approved.

The list includes designated residential structures on Hardshell and Galloway roads, 6th and 7th avenues, Shipman Circle and Oak, East Troy and North Main streets. Non-residential structures on the list include the former Hudson building, a service station on Veterans Blvd. and a business on Highway 231.

Thomas said those structures are only a sampling of 39 or 40 structures that could qualify.

Thomas said the demolition of the structures identified in the grant application and the cleanup work would be done without cost to the property owners. However, if the grant is not awarded, the city could enforce the city code related to dilapidated or abandoned structures which allow liens to be placed on the property and the owners bearing the responsibility for bringing the property up to code.

Following the public hearing, the council voted to apply for the combination grant  for the removal of blight throughout the city and the upgrades of the waterlines on the designated streets.

However, the maximum grant request is $350,000 so Thomas said the council will have to make a decision as to what the priorities will be for inclusion in the grant application.

The council also considered the bids received  for moving powerlines in Caldwell Subdivision.

Thomas said the powerlines that are located off Johnson Street are in a heavily wooded area and are difficult to service.

Only two bids were received for moving the lines. Petty Line Construction bid was $105,937.06 and Kings Table Powerline Service, Inc. was $59,186.

Margaret Ross, District 3 councilmember, said the powerlines are in her district and the lines have caused the residents great inconvenience over the years.

“I am certainly in favor of resolving this problem,” she said.

The council voted to accept the low bid. That bid does not include the cost of materials. If the city purchases the materials, the total cost of the project is  estimated at $80,000.

Spentresia Fenn addressed the council and requested permission to host movie nights on the grounds of Brundidge City Hall during the month of June.

Fenn said she would supply an inflatable screen and a public-address system. The first movie would be kid-friendly and the response will determine future showings.

The council voted in favor of Fenn’s request.

Concern was expressed by those in attendance about vehicles speeding through the downtown area. A greater police presence was suggested as a way to curb the problem.

Councilman Byron Gaynor said he would like for the police officers to patrol the downtown area frequently as well as the neighborhoods.

“I want those patrol cars to be moving, not stopped,” he said.

Mayor Isabell Boyd informed the council that she received notification from the Alabama Historical Commission that the Old Brundidge City Cemetery has been added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

Boyd said the register is a prestigious listing of historic cemeteries in Alabama and features 832 cemeteries statewide. There are now 13 cemeteries in Pike County listed.

Boyd also encouraged the council members and those in attendance to plan to attend the “Making Alabama: A Bicentennial  Traveling Exhibit,” June 10-21. The exhibit will be hosted by the City of Troy at the Pike County High School Arts Center Building. The exhibit will be open from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 4 until 7 p.m. week days.  Reservations may be made for groups at other times. For more information or to make reservations, call Brundidge City Hall at 334-735-2385.

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