DOT commits $160K for road to retailer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Alabama Department of Transportation has committed $160,000 to construct an access road from downtown Red Level to what will be the new Dollar General store location, Mayor Mike Purnell said Friday.

Purnell recently approached the county commission asking for a letter of support for the project so the town could seek outside funding for the project. In March, the town of Red Level announced it would be getting a Dollar General store. A public hearing was held last Friday on the project. An estimated 12 people attended, all with positive feedback, he said.

“We’re shocked and very grateful to get the money,” Purnell said. “On behalf of the people of Red Level, we’re very blessed to have friends that helped us out.”

Purnell said he is unsure as to the exact type of DOT funding the town will receive; however, the money will be used to construct a thoroughfare from downtown to the store’s parking lot.

Purnell said in addition to the access road, there will be a second road project associated with the project – new turn lanes off of Ala. Hwy. 55.

“We have an agreement with Dollar General that says we will help pay for those turn lanes using local sales tax revenue,” he said. “The deal is we will give them back their sales tax for a period of two-and-a-half years to up to $100,000 – whichever comes first.

“I think we’ll meet that $100,000 cap long before the two-and-a-half years are up,” he said.

Purnell said no construction date has been set, but the two entities are set to close on the property “any day now.”

“I figure that within a few days of closing, they’ll get pretty hot on the construction,” he said. “Everything takes a little time. We want to make sure that things are done right.”

Purnell said the DOT funds will be administered through the Covington County Commission.

“See miracles do happen,” Purnell said of the funds. “We are so thankful.”