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IPEC announces expansion plans; adding workers

By By BILL CRIST – Publisher
Citing his company's move into the dairy market, Jay Martin, vice president of operations at the Brewton IPEC (International Plastics Equipment Co.), said that the company will soon be adding between 30,000 and 35,000 square feet to its existing plant and will soon double the size of its workforce.
Martin said that he expects 80 percent of IPEC's growth in the next two quarters to be a result of the company's entering the dairy market. IPEC manufactures plastic bottle caps for a variety of bottles ranging from water to sports drinks to juice.
Broox Garrett, representing the Brewton Development Authority also addressed the council, recommending an amendment to IPEC's tax abatement based on the company's additional investments. The original abatement was entered in 1997 and was for 10 years. The council unanimously approved the amendment.
The council unanimously approved the city's budget for the coming fiscal year, which begins on October 1. The budget reflects an increase in revenue of $9,991, with a corresponding increase in spending. Among the expenses is a 2.5 percent raise for city employees and an increase of $50,837 for the fire department, an expense related to the first year of the five-year cost of the department's newest fire truck.
Councilman Walter (Jake) Lewis reported that 58 notices for abandoned vehicles had been issued, 11 for abandoned houses, five for rubbish and four for overgrowth. He said the Dilapidated Houses Committee has also been receiving complaints about a house on East Jackson and another on Granberry. He said that the city's code officer is working on the problem.
According to Brewton Police Chief David (Mickey) Lovelace, both Brewton and East Brewton will celebrate Halloween on Thursday, Oct. 31 this year. Lovelace said trick-or-treaters should plan to visit neighborhoods from 5 to 8 p.m. and that there should not be any trick-or-treaters out after 9 p.m.
The council unanimously approved Magnolia Belle Data Systems' bid to install a new email router in City Hall and to convert the building to DSL.
According to City Clerk John Angel, the new system will have a one-time expense of $800 for the router and a monthly expense of $444. He said that is $100 per month less than the city is paying for service now. He also said that bids from Bell South, Econec and Mediacom did not include the services the city wanted.
The new system will feature a wireless connection from City Hall to Magnolia Belle's building, offer full website hosting, has a firewall option and will not require the rewiring of City Hall.
In other business the Council: