Governor visits east Walker County
JAMES PHILLIPS, DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE
EAST WALKER — Governor Robert Bentley on Thursday awarded Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to the cities of Dora, Jasper and Sumiton. The grants will be used for sewer system rehabilitation and lighting a diverse use trail.
“I have seen great things happening in rural Alabama. Jobs are coming back; businesses are opening and hope for a better quality of life is alive and well,” Bentley said during a press conference at the Dora Civic Center. “I am proud to support these grants and these projects because of what it will mean to the people in Walker County and the potential economic impact it will have in the future.”
The City of Dora was awarded a $350,000 grant that will be used to rehabilitate the sewer system by replacing a pump station on Horse Creek Boulevard and rehabilitating three deteriorated sewer pump stations.
“I want to thank the governor on behalf of the city,” Dora Mayor Randy Stephens said. “All these sewer stations serve our federal housing authority apartments. Every single one of them is tied into this sewer system.
“We had a two-phased program here,” Stephens continued. “Four years ago we got the first grant and we totally renovated our waste water treatment plant. We wanted to go to this second phase and work on our lines and now we have the funding to do that. Without the infrastructure in place, we cannot have economic growth, and I thank the governor very much for this.”
The City of Jasper was awarded a $450,000 grant that will be used to rehabilitate a main sewer trunk running through the middle of the city.
“Gov. Bentley is here on a regular basis, and our legislative delegation of Sen. Greg Reed and Rep. Connie Rowe go to Montgomery and they make things happen for our communities. I appreciate the work they do,” said David O’Mary, mayor-elect in Jasper. “This grant, combined with the Jasper Water Works and Sewer Board putting in $600,000, will replace a critical trunk line in our city and put it in a condition that will last beyond our lifetime.”
The City of Sumiton was awarded $100,000 to be used to purchase and install lighting along the existing paved, diverse use trail. Bentley presented that check to Sumiton Mayor Petey Ellis during a tour of the Alabama Power training facility on the Sumiton campus of Bevill State Community College. Bentley joked with Ellis, asking if he ever used the walking trail.
“I used it this morning,” Ellis responded. “This grant will be used to light the trail and it will go a long way. We appreciate receiving it.”
CDBG grants are made available through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).
“This is one of the most fun things I do, because you are helping communities and when you are helping communities, you are helping people and their lives,” Bentley said.
The CDBG program provides communities with resources to meet development needs and goes to affect the lives of millions of people throughout the country.
“ADECA’s community development block grants are important investments in the quality of life for Alabama communities,” ADECA Director Jim Byard, Jr. said. “This year, ADECA received 108 applications for projects that support economic and community development. We were able to award 54 projects totaling $17.5 million in investments. I am proud of the projects chosen this year, especially these projects for Walker and Winston counties.”