Florala seeks project funding

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Two – possibly three – capital improvement projects are on the desk after the Florala Utilities Board agreed Monday to seek more than $500,000 in grant and government-backed bond funds.

Local engineers, Bob Carter of Goodwyn, Mills and Caywood, and Paul Darnell of DMD Engineers, each presented plans for upcoming projects.

Board members agreed to proceed with Carter’s plan to seek an estimated $350,000 from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s state revolving fund program. The program provides low-interest loans for public infrastructure projects. In Florala’s case, that would be a new sewer lift station on Lakeshore Boulevard.

“If you remember, we’ve already submitted the pre-application, and I’m happy to say, that the project has been approved,” Carter said. Terms of the loan are 2.4 percent interest with a 20-year payback, and repayment doesn’t begin until the project is completed.

The board initially applied for $464,000 complete the lift stations on Lakeshore Boulevard and the Second Avenue; however, when Carter said the loan payment on the figure was approximately $2,000 per month, the board agreed to scale down the project to include on the Lakeshore location.

Carter said application deadline is May 1, and requires the board to submit a “shovel-ready plan.”

Darnell is seeking Community Block Develop Grant funds to do the same project.

“That way, if you don’t get the grant, you’ve got all the bases covered,” Darnell said.

If funded, the $350,000 project requires a $50,000 match, he said.

Carter said SRF is “very flexible.”

“Which means, if you get the grant, then we just shift the SRF project to do the Second Avenue lift stations,” Carter said.

Board member gave their “go ahead” to both projects after tabling a proposal from US Tanks to rehabilitate and maintain the city’s two water tanks.