MOVING AHEAD: Brundidge overcomes tragedies, makes forward progress in 2019

Published 10:16 pm Monday, December 30, 2019

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The City of Brundidge closed out the 20-teens with a positive outlook for 2020.

Brundidge Mayor Isabell Boyd said the Brundidge City Council passed a $10 million-plus budget for FY2020 and will continue and complete several projects that will benefit the city and its citizens in 2020 and moving forward.

“We lost, Arthur Lee Griffin, a longtime member of our city council in 2019,” Boyd said. “We were all deeply saddened by his death. He made many contributions to the council and to the city. He will be greatly missed.”

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Boyd said Griffin’s daughter, Michelle Griffin, was appointed to fill his term of office.

“Our community was deeply grieved by the murder of Neil Kumar, a clerk at the J&S Buy Rite in Brundidge,” Boyd said. “That’s not the kind of town we are.”

Boyd said the city made forward strides in the year 2019, the most visible being the new Brundidge City Hall on North Main Street.

“We are very excited about our new city hall that will better serve our community,” Boyd said. “A special feature of Brundidge City Hall is the drive-thru that makes paying utility bills more convenient and there is also plenty of convenient parking space.”

Needed repairs are being made to the former city hall building on South Main Street and the building will continue to be a viable part of the city, the mayor said.

“During 2019, the city received a $100,000 USDA Rural Development grant that will be used to renovate the former Haisten Hardware building as an incubator business,” Boyd said. “There will spaces for individuals who are interested in setting up and growing small businesses.”

Boyd said the city also received a Community Development Block Grant that will provided funding to demolish abandoned and dilapidated houses and business structures throughout the city.

“The city received an ASCA grant to assist with funding for a successful Cultural Arts Week in Brundidge in November,” the mayor said. The city was a host city for the Alabama Humanities Foundation’s “Making Alabama: A Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit.” The exhibit was open for viewing at the Fine Arts Center at Pike County High School for two weeks in June.

The City Recreation Department showed a large increase in participation this year and laid the groundwork for continued growth in 2020, Boyd said. “The city is working with the Pike County Board of Education to make about 28 acres of city property on South Main Street available to the BOE.

“The plan is for the city to donate those acres to the board of education to develop a sports complex for the school, but will also be available for city use,” Boyd said.

Work will soon begin on the continuation of the city’s sidewalk project and that will be of great benefit to the city, Boyd said.

“We have seen growth in some areas of the city. The Floyd Shirley facility has been purchased for the sale of used cars and also has a mechanic shop,” Boyd said. “The former Chevrolet building has been purchased and a couple of stores on Main Street are under new ownership. We lost Family Dollar and that was very disappointing. But, we will continue to work toward bringing new business to town. We have vacant stores downtown and we need occupants and new businesses.”

Boyd said the year 2020 brings with it the hope of the incorporation of a Boys and Girls Club in Brundidge and the expansion of the Robert E. Barr Nutrition Center.

“We always need outlets for our young people,” Boyd said. “And, we have many citizens who are not taking advantage of the opportunities offered through the nutrition center. It is more than a place to get a nutritious meal. It is a place for activities and fellowship.”

Boyd said it is encouraging to see residents invest in Brundidge.

“We need our residents to step up and make investments in Brundidge,” Boyd said. “Investments don’t have to always be in the business community. Spentresssia Fenn came home this summer and provided free outdoor movies for the community. When the community gets involved, good things will follow. We look for many good things to happen in Brundidge in 2020.