Opp grant means more jobs

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Twenty jobs have been preserved and 20 more could be added thanks to a nearly $100,000 grant to help with drainage issues near Opp’s aerospace and defense manufacturing firm.

Gov. Robert Bentley on Tuesday announced that he had awarded a $99,292 Community Development Block Grant to fund infrastructure improvements needed by Georgia Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing.

The company produces parts and products for airplanes and helicopters, and is in the process of upgrading and expanding the facilities of the Alabama Aerospace Manufacturing, which is recently acquired.

“Whether preserving existing jobs or creating new ones, my administration is dedicated to expanding employment opportunities for Alabamians,” Bentley said. “I commend community leaders in Opp and Covington County for their efforts to provide the services needed for economic growth.”

The grant will help the city address drainage problems along Douglas Street where the 87,000 square foot is located.

By installing improved sewer lines, water that floods the parking lot and street will be diverted away from the area, according to engineers.

District 2 Councilman T.D. Morgan said he thinks this is a good.

“I think it’s going to alleviate the flooding problem,” Morgan said. “There has been a flooding problem for years. I’m hoping it will help eliminate some of it on Covington Avenue.”

City Planner Jason Bryan said this is partial funding for a large project the city is working on.

“We intend on paving the whole street by summer, if we can get the paperwork going,” he said.

The Newnan, Ga.-based Georgia Aerospace anticipates a $3 million upgrade of the Opp facility.

Bentley notified Mayor John Bartholomew that the grant had been approved. The city is providing $24,823 in supplemental funding for the project

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, infrastructure upgrades, recreation, energy, water resources, job training and career development.