Georgiana awarded grant for sewer lines

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 12, 2006

The city of Georgiana will finally be able to replace some severely damaged sewer lines, thanks to a $400,000 grant.

The Community Development Block Grant will be used to replace 70-year-plus-old clay sewer lines that are enabling rainwater to infiltrate the system. Extra water at times has caused the treatment facility to exceed its daily permitted waste outtake.

With the overflow, raw sewage has been discharged into a local creek, causing a hazardous and smelly situation – not to mention an expensive one.

The city has already paid an $11,000 fine to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for these infractions and could face more fines if the problem is not corrected.

&#8220It will certainly get the city out of a lot of hot water,” Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Middleton said of the grant.

&#8220We hope this fixes the problem once and for all, so we don't have all that sewage running over. We don't want to have to pay any more fines. It does get expensive.”

According to Gov. Bob Riley, Community Block Grants, like the one awarded for the sewage lines, are designed to help small cities like Georgiana fund necessary and critical projects.

&#8220In many instances achieving these projects without grant assistance would be impossible without making major cuts in other vital city services like law enforcement,” Riley said.

Lines will be replaced along Pinehurst Drive, Hollis Circle, Washington and Rose Streets where it is believed 75 percent of the system's storm water infiltration problem originates. The wastewater plant typically takes in about 200,000 gallons of sewage today, but that amount surges to as much as one million gallons a day during heavy and moderate rains.

The city is providing $40,000 in local funding for the project, while the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant. The funds were made available to the state through a program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The next step for Georgiana is getting the bids out for the repair job, Middleton said.

&#8220We hope to get the project underway as soon as possible.”